Millennials are forcing employees to re-think the types of rewards and incentives programs they offer. With three generations working together in the workplace, HR departments and managers have many different expectations to handle. Employee rewards and incentives programs are certainly no strangers to change. As organizations look to increase employee loyalty and reward workers for their service, they're finding it difficult to choose incentives that motivate employees from all generations.

Which generation is the most difficult to pick incentives for? According to the majority of those surveyed in the 2014 Canadian Incentive Trends Survey, it's the millennials.

2014 Incentive Trends Survey, Berkeley Payment Solutions

It's estimated, that by 2028,  75% of the Canadian workforce will be millenials. In the U.S., studies predict 50% of the American workforce will be millennials by 2020. They are predicted to end the traditional "9-to-5" job, preferring flexibility in their positions and embracing change in their career paths. The media often characterizes millennials as a generation that requires constant recognition, and companies are taking note. Studies have found that service rewards and incentives are changing. It used to be that an employee was rewarded at 5, 10, 20 or more years of service. Now, organizations are beginning to recognize service as early as one year into working for the company.

And employee rewards and incentives are changing too. Gift cards are increasingly becoming the most popular choice among employees. They're easy to use, have broad appeal and flexibility that company-branded clothing or merchandise doesn't have.

But take the gift card one step further and you have a prepaid credit card. According to those polled in the 2014 Canadian Incentive Trends Survey, prepaid credit cards are growing in popularity and preferred 2x more than retail gift cards.

Instead of being forced to spend an employee reward or incentive at a specific restaurant or retail store, employees widely prefer having the convenience of a prepaid credit card - which allows them to spend their money wherever a Visa or MasterCard is accepted.

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