How appreciation preferences across age groups should shape your recognition strategies

All workers want to be recognized, appreciated and rewarded–differently. New research reveals how to approach each age group in meaningful ways.

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Why different age groups require different forms of recognition

If you approach communicating appreciation and recognition to employees the same, regardless of their age group, you are at high risk for missing the mark – including wasting your time, energy and the organization’s money.

Recent research featuring insights from more than 190,000 employees found that how they prefer to be shown appreciation varies significantly, especially for employees in the youngest and oldest age groups.

Utilizing the five languages of appreciation model, we found that while the pattern of preferred appreciation languages generally carries across age groups, a shift is occurring.  Historically over the past 10 years, appreciation communicated verbally has been desired by most employees (46%), with quality time second highest (26%), followed by acts of service (21%), gifts (6%) and appropriate physical touch (1%).  But when comparing employees across age groups, we observed changes in preferences.

Senior employees don’t want gifts

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