The 30 seconds your employees are itching for (especially millennials)

I was asked to write this blog post about recognition programs throughout the different companies I’m involved with for AMPT, a company that specializes in employee engagement. The topic is important enough that I wanted to share it with The Bon Blog readers.  Whether you are a millennial or a company CEO (or both), understanding each other and how we can work together is critical to developing a strong team. – The Bon

I’m a very busy college student. Balancing multiple jobs, going to school full time. You know, doing the whole “adulting” thing.  So, the work/school days tend to be very exhausting. Even more so when you’re not getting recognized for the extra work. With the different jobs that I have, I’ve noticed that different businesses and companies recognize their employees significantly different.


I love being an independent beauty consultant. I love the company I work for and all the women as well. One thing that this company values is rewarding their consultants, directors, and national directors. Depending on your ranking within the company your rewards get better and better.

Let me break this down for you.

Every quarter you are capable of receiving star prizes based on how much product you sold that quarter. Prizes get better the more you sell. I’ve received a wide range of things. Jewelry, a pitcher set, a marble side table, etc. Another cool thing that this company does is reward you based on how many team members you have and the sales level you hold in the company.

For instance, if you’re on track to becoming a director you earn free cars. If you’re a national director, you might earn a free trip to Dubai. Consultants get rewarded as well. Our directors will gift us earrings, gift cards, etc. if they notice that we sell a certain amount each month. We receive gorgeous gifts monthly.

So why don’t I feel motivated to go above and beyond within this company?


I love being AMPT’s social strategist. I find my job compelling and challenging. By no means do I think I have the most exciting job out there. It’s not like I’m saving lives or walking on the moon. I create graphics for social media posts, I do a lot of research, and I help produce webinars. I might not have a job that most people find thrilling, but I have a job that I love. Every time I come into work I realize how much I love my job and how excited I am to show up and do the work.

AMPT recognizes their employees differently than just giving gifts or bonuses. I don’t get a free car or an all paid for trip to Dubai. I receive a nudge from one of my co-workers. When someone notices that I go above and beyond at work they recognize me on our platform. Our entire team can see the accomplishment.

My phone will buzz, I’ll receive my nudge, and instantly feel connected to my job and eager to continue to go above and beyond in the workplace.


As a millennial, recognition is extremely important. More important than extravagant gifts. More important than a prepaid trip. I view recognition as more than just a gift. In my opinion, the second you gift an employee you are putting a price tag on their work. I don’t necessarily view it as a positive thing. When I receive a pair of earrings and my director receives a free car I immediately become discouraged. I’m obviously not as valuable as my director. I’m just a consultant.

TRY IT YOURSELF: Give someone some recognition 

Oddly enough, I don’t find this motivating enough to try and advance in the company. I work hard and all I get is a pair of earrings or a pitcher set? That’s not very gratifying. Directors will recognize their consultants on our secret Facebook pages. But, it almost always comes with how much that consultant sold or congratulating them when they bring on a new team member. Both of which have a tie to profit. Therefore, I’m only valued and appreciated when I get a sale, all the hard work and steps prior to that go unnoticed.

As a millennial, recognition is extremely important. More important than extravagant gifts. More important than a prepaid trip. A nudge is recognition shared through a heartfelt message. In my opinion, that’s what it takes to make the work worthwhile. Unexpectedly receiving a nudge is priceless and gives you a sense of purpose for all your hard work. I view this as a positive thing. When one of my co-workers gives me a nudge I feel valued and inspired. I never feel like there’s a price tag on my work. I never feel discouraged or like I’m being compared to anyone else. For me, this is what drives me to go above and beyond. Getting recognized on a platform where all my co-workers can see my accomplishments. This is what motivates me to stay innovative, engaged, and satisfied at work.


Think about who your employees are. Are they millennials? Are they Gen Xer’s? Do you recognize them for getting up, showing up, and getting the job done day in and day out? If not, which employees are less engaged and dissatisfied? Recognize their greatness. Tell them they’re doing a good job. Taking 30 seconds out of your day to tell someone they’re valued and their work is being noticed might be all it takes for them to fall back in love with their job.

From a millennial’s perspective, all it takes is a little reassurance to spark inspiration and motivation. Whether your employees are millennials or not; everyone likes to feel appreciated. Sometimes the bonus, gifts, or even free car simply aren’t enough.

#BonItOut – The Bon

One Response to “The 30 seconds your employees are itching for (especially millennials)

  • Jim Lee
    7 years ago

    Well said! We are practicing this at our company and have seen it prove to be true many times over. We have implemented what we call “our values awards” which basically is our company values given out as an award on a monthly basis to the employee that exemplifies that specific value. They are nominated by our employees – their peers and the person that receives the most nominations wins the award for that month. They do receive a monetary gift and are taken to lunch at the place they choose with all of the peers that nominated them. We then read the reasons they were nominated by each person. It is such a positive and humbling experience. So far each month has produced a different winner and has encouraged us to continue to recognize the contributions each team member brings.
    We also make it part of our company culture to do “shout outs” where we recognize hard work, creativity, caring, all of the positive things are staff members are doing. It gives everyone an opportunity to recognize others and to be recognized. It is something we do at each staff meeting, team meeting, and throughout the week via email. You can’t recognize awesomeness too much!!
    Those are just a few things we do, thank you for posting and reminding me of their importance.

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