Tag Archive for: Incentives

How to Attract Millennial Employees

It is no secret that millennials have been changing the workforce for several years now. Back in 2016, they became the largest fraction of the U.S. workforce, making up over one-third of the working population. It is projected that by 2025, they will account for up to 75% of the working world, which means that if you want your business to continue successfully growing and operating, bringing millennials onto your team is essential.

Although there are commonly held stereotypes surrounding this generation and their work ethic, they are also known to be good communicators, positive change makers, and the most up-to-date on current information and technology. While they may be a generation of high expectations, if they feel they are being accommodated in the workplace and valued as employees, they will go beyond their due diligence to drive results within their company.

Because there is no scarcity of jobs in today’s market, millennials have the option to be particular about where they choose to work. Therefore, attracting them to your company will be an art in and of itself. Here are some of the fundamentals millennials search for when choosing a company to work for:



Time and time again, surveys have shown that millennials prefer good benefit packages over pay increases. Due to reaching adulthood in a time of sky-high rents, five-figure student loan debt, and the rise of digital devices, despite a decent salary, millennials do not have the reserves to purchase their own benefits or pay high deductibles when it comes to their health nor put away large sums of money for their retirement plans. When posting a job ad, it is important to highlight your company’s medical benefits as well as non-monetary benefits such as PTO and flexible scheduling.



For the millennial generation, a job is no longer just about a paycheck. As Gen-Y is the generation that purchases from, promotes, and works for organizations that have objectives outside of high revenue and brand visibility, it is of your benefit as a company to implement a cause you are supporting somewhere into your business model. While past generations had the mentality of “show me the money”, millennials have the mentality of “show me the purpose”, with studies showing that over 75% of them would take a pay cut if it meant working for a company that demonstrated a desire for positive change and impact. This also means that you should emphasize ethical business practices and be completely transparent about company culture when recruiting for a position.


From the get-go, millennials want to know that they will have a career path to follow and about how long it will take them to advance. Known by the expression, “millennials want to matter, this generation is much more likely to envision themselves with a company long-term if their professional life feels significant. In the interview process, be sure to articulate the different potential avenues of how they could move up should they perform well and choose to stay with the company. This could look like management trainee programs and upskilling employees to take on more responsibilities as they excel and feel more comfortable in their positions.


This factor plays a huge role in attracting millennials to a position or corporation. More than any other generation, this group values their work environment and the people in it. Studies show that when asked, millennials rate company culture an 8.5 out of 10 in terms of importance. This includes things such as a comfortable workspace, a sense of community, good communication, core values, and having a voice within the company. Marketing a healthy company culture will not only attract top talent that is dependable and eager to perform, it will also retain the employees you already have and result in more productivity and high employee morale.


Millennial or not, no matter what the industry, most employees feel that a strict 9-5 workday is outdated. In fact, over 50% of employees say they wish their company was more flexible. While it can appear that people want flexibility out of laziness and self-interest, it is actually found that it reduces workplace stress which then results in more productivity. Although not all industries are able to offer flexibility in the form of working remotely, there are several ways to be flexible, such as offering unlimited PTO, being flexible with time in and time out, having a four day work week, and having a lenient dress code. Having a number of these options will not only improve employee wellbeing, but will also enhance your reputation as an employer.



As a top 150 workplace for 6-years in a row, we know the importance of creating a great environment to attract the right talent. If you are looking for a staffing partner that can help you showcase your job openings and company culture to rising talent, reach out to our account management team today!

4 Reasons Why Minnesota Businesses Give Bonuses

Some employers give their employees bonuses for special occasions such as completing a project, making a sale, or celebrating the holidays. Bonuses are often given in the form of payment, but can also be given in other forms such as extra time off or increased responsibility. Recognizing the accomplishments of your employees with a bonus not only rewards them but also benefits the company.

Motivate Hard Work

When your employees receive bonuses after a certain project is completed or a deadline is met, you are motivating them to work harder in the future. Your employees will start taking that extra step and assigning more responsibility to themselves in hopes that you will reward their behavior. You don’t have to give out bonuses every time your employees do something great, but you are letting them know that you are observing and appreciate their hard work. This will lead to more quality work on a more consistent basis.

Promote Certain Tasks

If you have a high priority or time-sensitive task, a great way to do that is to offer your employees a bonus. This will let the employees know that this task or project is extremely important to you, and it will stand out from the other projects or tasks you assign. Your employees will work harder on that specific task because of the stakes that are involved and the importance of the project.

Boost Employee Morale

If your employees know there is even a slight chance you will give out bonuses, you will create an environment of positivity and happiness in your workplace. This will boost your employee morale, as employees will feel like their work is being seen and rewarded. Your employees will also be more willing to put more time and effort into projects, which will lead to a greater sense of self-pride and accomplishment.

Increase Employee Retention

Acknowledging your employee’s accomplishments and skill sets through bonuses creates satisfied employees, ultimately increasing retention. Increased retention builds stronger work relationships and reduces cost per hire.

Contact Award Staffing. We will perform an extensive search for high-quality employees who match your company’s needs and stay, earning bonuses through their motivation, commitment to the task, and personal morale.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

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Beyond Incentives and Bonuses

Two of our previous blogs, The Psychology of Incentives and Bonuses: The Downsides, discuss the not-so-positive aspects of incentive programs and bonuses. In fact, it might be time to step back and reconsider your employee bonus program. But, before you are too alarmed and scrap the entire bonus program, evaluate your options. Maybe the best option is to revise your current practices and offer alternatives.

Possible Revisions:

· While you may not be able to give 10% raises across the board, evaluate what you can do. The cost of turnover is high and the loss of top talent even more costly. If a little higher raise than you originally intended increases retention, it will cost you less in the end.
· Yes, employees want a fair wage, benefits, and the opportunity for rewards, but they also want to know how their responsibilities support the company mission and overall goals. Recognize performance, and goals reached. Provide timely feedback; a thank you, whether monetary or otherwise, that comes months after the fact loses its punch.
· If you choose to incorporate bonus program, keep it open to everyone, clearly communicate specific objectives and a well-defined process for both earning “points” and how the amount of a reward will be determined. Avoid a system that is too subjective.


There is more than one way to reward employees who are reliable, innovative, and focused, exhibiting a strong work ethic and completing their tasks correctly and on time. Employees who contribute both to company goals and an upbeat company culture.

Begin with words:

Begin with words of affirmation, recognition, and thank you’s –verbal and handwritten. Don’t hesitate to give public acknowledgment of exceptional work. It’s easy, low cost, and simple, but oh-so-vital to employee engagement. According to Engagement Stats by Lori McKnight (February 17, 2017):

· 69% of employees say they would work harder if they felt their efforts were better recognized.
· Praise from a leader amplifies the positive impact:
· The more recognition programs you have, the better your results. 67% of company’s who offer multiple programs discovered that when the number of programs reached four, the perceived effect on employee engagement, motivation and satisfaction grew considerably.
· Employees want feedback…the good, bad and ugly. 60% of survey respondents would like daily – or at least weekly – feedback. (The number increased to 72% for those under thirty. Even though 75% felt that feedback is valuable, only 30% receive it.

Add small, and sometimes substantial gifts to in the moment awards. From an individual award to someone who went above and beyond to an entire team, or an entire shift, giving a reward in prompt response to exceptional service is much more effective than an end-of-the-year general bonus, based on profits. Don’t forget the front desk – the face of your business – that person who sets the tone for public opinion or the behind the scenes guy/gal who keeps everything running smoothly.

Offer additional benefits:

Of course, health care is an essential and 401Ks, or other retirement options are often expected, but there are many possibilities for perks and benefits. In fact, according to 2018 Employee Benefits and Perks, Statistics posted by Brandon Carter (Feb 20, 2018); 80% of employees who were extremely satisfied with their benefits also gave high rankings to their job satisfaction, and 65% of employees who were highly satisfied with their benefits said their over-all morale was equally high. Different things matter to different employees. Some companies find success in offering options and letting each employee choose which one – or more – fit their style. Possibilities include:

· Increasing telecommuting options
· Flexible shift times. 42% of adults said they’d jump ship for a flexible work option (Yoh)
· Financial help with continued education
· Opportunities to attend conferences or participate in webinars – surveys reveal that businesses with strong learning cultures have 30-50% higher retention.
· Time off with pay to participate in charitable activities for community organizations – It not only says I care about you, it says I care about our community.
· Extra PTO
· On-site childcare, work-out facilities, cafeterias with healthy choices, etc.
· Mentoring programs – 94% of workers who participate in a mentoring program say that the opportunity demonstrates the company’s commitment to their employees.
· Host company-wide events that include their partners/families – caring about the whole person and their life beyond work makes an impact.

In the end, the principle that connects incentive programs, bonuses, and alternatives and results in success is the personal aspect. When owners, management, and leaders actively care about their employees, through recognition, gratitude, reward, and equity, employees respond with loyalty. If you want your employees to engage in their work, support the company mission, and connect to each other in a congenial culture, it’s up to you to lead the way.

If you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs. If you’re searching for more tips and trick on how to improve your company’s workforce, check out our hiring solutions blog.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

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8 Downsides to Employee Bonuses

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, July’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.9. Aside from 3.8 in May and 3.9 in the year 2,000, this is the lowest rate in nearly 50 years. In spite of those numbers, pay raises remain abysmally low.

Many companies have chosen the route of bonuses. In fact, Salary.com statistics reported in USA Today that while less than 65% of North American companies gave year-end bonuses in 2016, more than 75% did in 2017.  These bonuses come in a variety of styles, including:

· Spot bonuses – recognition for going above and beyond
· Individual incentive bonuses – a reward for meeting a goal – usually predesignated – also known as a performance-based bonus
· Profit-sharing – when a company shares a piece of overall company growth
· Referral bonuses – pay for referring a prospective candidate who hires on and stays at least the specified time
· Productivity bonuses – designed to inspire, and then award an entire team, department, manufacturing floor, etc.

At first glance, bonuses seem to be a positive, growing trend. After all, who doesn’t appreciate a generous employer who recognizes an employee’s contribution? And, there are several pros that support the bonus concept, such as the potential for:

· Happy employees
· Increased company morale
· Improved company reputation – which attracts talent

But wait, before you do the happy dance, let’s take another look. There is growing research that points to the downside of bonuses.

The Downsides:

1. Employees who are considering a job change may choose to wait until the bonus is received and then turn in his/her resignation. If a company distributes bonuses “across the board” of at least to multiple employees, a company may find themselves facing a mass exodus right after paying out a large sum of cash.
2. When bonuses are paid in groups, but at intermittent intervals, productivity may fluctuate according to the bonus. As Ruth Mayhew, an expert on HR subject matter, points out in a recent article for Bizfluent, “This up-and-down in motivation and productivity can be costly for employers.”
3. The case of unrealistic expectations: Particularly when considering year-end bonuses. Once they are given, employees tend to expect them. If a “flush” year is followed by a decrease in revenue, companies may end up with disappointed, unhappy employees, resulting in a loss of morale.
4. Adverse employee competition: While a little friendly competition can be a great productivity booster, tying bonuses to the game may create a negative culture, building antagonistic peer-to-peer interaction.
5. While dangling the bonus carrot may light the fire under some employees, others feel the pressure and backtrack. According to Gregory Hamel in a post for Chron, this can lead to an imbalance of employee input and hinder overall productivity and efficiency.
6. The reverse effect: Sometimes the promise of a hefty bonus becomes an incentive to cut corners, cheat, and cross ethical boundaries, rather than improve performance.
7. Holding back on salary and benefits in exchange for bonuses can be a turn off for potential talent. Whether an active or passive candidate, top-talent players are usually seeking to increase their salaries. If not, they are searching for flexibility, growth opportunities, etc. The promise of a potential bonus is low on their list.
8. While an employer’s bonus may be fueled by generosity, it can backfire on the employee at tax time. The IRS considers a bonus to be supplemental income and therefore, it’s taxed at a flat rate, which is usually higher than the rate on employee wages.


While a bonus program may have some benefits, including giving a boost to productivity, consider the big picture and weigh both the pros and the cons in the balance before making your final decision. In our next blog, we’ll discuss ways to avoid the negatives as well as positive alternatives.

If you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs. If you’re searching for more tips and trick on how to improve your company’s workforce, check out our hiring solutions blog.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

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The Psychology of Incentives

Employee retention is a troublesome issue for most companies. In fact, many experts estimate that $11 billion is lost annually to employee turnover.

Additional statistics are equally alarming.

· 59% of US workers are likely to leave their jobs for new opportunities (Adobe)
· About 70% of Americans are disengaged at work (Gallup)

On the other hand, according to HR Dive, 75% of causes of employee turnover are preventable.


Many employers offer a performance-based incentive pay in an effort to build engagement – which lies at the root of retention – and company loyalty. Some incentive programs provide individual bonuses based on an employee’s achievements, while others offer profit-related pay, which is based on reaching goals company-wide. Various studies indicate the potential for success – especially with individual incentives, but in reality, employers must dig deeper for lasting change.

In order to build robust employee-engagement levels, companies must first understand what ‘makes people tick.’ For example, according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, every person has five basic needs that must be met before he/she can grow and succeed.

1. Physiological needs – food, water, breathing, shelter, clothing.
2. Security and safety needs – physical protection, health and wellness, financial security.
3. Social needs – family and friends, social and community or religious groups, all of which bring a sense of belonging.
4. Esteem needs – appreciation, value, respect.
5. Self-actualization – knowledge of who they are and confidence that they are fully using their talents, capabilities, and reaching their potential.

Incentives then must do more than offer pay for performance. They must tap into the needs of individuals. They must offer:

· Valence: something that is of personal value to the recipient.
· Instrumentality: the opportunity to be instrumental in the success of a program; the knowledge that he/she is connected to the big picture.
· Expectancy: the confidence that he/ she is capable of the task they are assigned; the goal they must reach to receive the reward.

When taking the needs of individuals into consideration, engaging/retaining your employees involves more than performance-based pay incentives. Consider this list of essentials.

According to a Modern Survey (2014), two of the strongest engagement drivers are the belief in senior leadership – how your C-suite conducts itself is crucial – and opportunities for growth and development. From this, we can conclude that:

· A management staff who connects to employees and upholds company policies, transparency, integrity, etc. from the top down is critical.
· Offering onsite training, encouragement for continued education via flexible work times and financial assistance, opportunities to participate in webinars, technology training, etc., and a promote-from-within-first policy are extremely effective

A PWC survey of Millennials reveals that 52% of Mills value career progression and 35% appreciate the quality training and development programs. These incentives support, rather than eliminate, financial-based incentives – which appeal to 44%.

Access to digital capabilities is another hot incentive. Various surveys and studies confirm that nearly 60% of those surveyed said they switched jobs to gain digital skills and 40% said they left because their current company did not keep up with state-of-the-art technology. Workers shared that the most significant factors in accepting and then staying with a position were a company’s use of the most up to date tools (80%), innovative culture (72%) and reputation as a leader in digitization (62%).


A company’s success in attracting, hiring, and then retaining talent correlates directly to their ability to engage their employees. Incentives play an influential role in engagement, but focusing only on performance-based incentives may be more detrimental than helpful. Successful incentive programs understand their employees’ needs, providing a safe place where they can connect and belong, earn a stable living, and actively participate in the company mission in a way that brings value, utilizes their personal abilities, and encourages growth.

If you’re looking to hire new employees but don’t know where to start, contact Award Staffing. We will be able to help you find the right employees for your unique business needs. If you’re searching for more tips and trick on how to improve your company’s workforce, check out our hiring solutions blog.



Want to learn more about how Award Staffing can help your organization with your staffing and employment needs? Start by providing our team with a few pieces of information about yourself, and we will take care of the rest.

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