Do we really need a new workplace model that caters to Millennials? A recent article in Fortune magazine says “yes.” Millennials look for a corporate culture of appreciation and social value.

The reality is that Baby Boomers and Gen X also crave recognition, but Millennials are demanding it — and they’ll go elsewhere if they don’t get it.

For a long time, we’ve known that Cash is NOT King in the world of corporate rewards and recognition: studies continually prove that employees perform at higher levels for tangible rewards. Yet many organizations continue to offer recognition programs that reward employees for just showing up, such as attendance programs and years-of-service rewards. And when they use cash as the reward vehicle, it’s easily confused with compensation.

A note of caution: don’t try this at home! We also know that all incentive, reward and recognition programs are not created equal: the program design matters. Partnering with an experienced rewards and recognition program provider will ensure that your incentive programs are properly designed to meet your objectives, improve performance, and you won’t experience any unintended consequences.

Engaged employees are more productive employees; incentive, reward and recognition programs are proven to increase employee engagement. The reward selection is important, and the way in which the reward is presented is almost as important. A global incentive provider that offers a customized selection of online rewards can provide guidance.

If your organization is still providing plaques and pins as a reward for attendance or length of service, you may want to re-think your strategy. Contact a progressive incentive, reward and recognition provider to design an effective program that will attract, engage, and retain your workforce — Millennials and all!