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Why millennials aren't happy at work

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More than preceding generations, millennials were raised to think they were special by their parents, teachers and other mentors. Unfortunately for twenty-somethings, their bosses are not so quick to give them accolades, and it’s bumming them out. 

It’s a problem that employers should be aware of for their own sake, according to a report by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, a consulting firm that specializes in engagements and incentives in the workplace. The report is based on a survey the firm conducted of 1,800 rank-and-file employees, including 350 millennials. 

See also: Millennials vs. boomers vs. Gen Xers: How they stack up in 5 charts

According to Blackhawk, the survey revealed that occasional company-wide activities aimed at showing appreciation for employees do little to make workers feel valued. Young people want something they can spend. 

“All-expense-paid trips and tickets to sporting events have little appeal for millennials,” said Rodney Mason, Blackhawk’s global vice president of marketing. “Instead, they want more immediate and consistent recognition for their professional contributions and love the immediate gratification of prepaid card rewards.”

survey conducted earlier this year by IBM found that millennials’ attitudes toward work are very similar to those of their parents’ generations. The main difference between young workers and their older counterparts, the report concluded, was that the former are much more proficient in digital technology.  

New employee research from Blackhawk Engagement Solutions reveals that current employee rewards and recognition programs — a key component in growing employee happiness — are not aligned with what makes millennial employees happy and more productive.

“Millennials are accustomed to attention and praise from their earliest days, and expect regular affirmation in the workplace. They are also prepared to switch jobs earlier and more frequently than previous generations, so employers need to take particular steps to maintain Millennial engagement,” said Rodney Mason, GVP of Marketing with Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, an international incentives and engagement company.

“Happy Millennials: An Employee Rewards & Recognition Study” is the second of a four-part national survey that questioned 1,800 salaried and hourly employed Americans, including nearly 350 millennials, about the key components of employee happiness, and the particular role rewards and recognition programs play in workplace satisfaction.

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