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By 2025, Millennials will make up three-quarters of the workforce.  For many of these employees, cash rewards are not always their primary motivation.  Companies like QuickChek, RaceTrack, and Ricker Oil are trying to develop corporate cultures that engage employees, recognize employees, and create a continuous dialogue with employees about what motivates them.

Article 3Traditional reward programs are often based on tenure.  In high turnover industries like retail, that excludes a large population.  Companies should tie rewards into the core values of the company.  This could mean rewarding employees for excellent customer service or achieving cost-cutting goals.

Ricker Oil, for example, uses a points-based variable compensation program.  This program rewards employees for things such as holidays and anniversaries, but also includes store metrics.  Ricker says the secret to the success of this program is to ensure that points can be managed on a timely basis.

RaceTrac found that its employees are motivated by recognition, communication, and trust.  RaceTrac launched its Employee Assistance Program that offers fresh fruit delivered to team members, wellness challenges, free personal trainers, kickboxing and Zumba classes, and RaceTrac’s Run for Research 5K.

QuickChek offers educational rewards including college tuition reimbursement for eligible team members.  QuickChek also offers QuickChek University (QCU) to its Assistant Store Leaders and Store Leaders.  QCU is a comprehensive leadership development program.  QuickChek also gives its employees “way to go” notes, birthday cards, team member of the month awards, and quarterly award winners.  QuickChek meets with employees in town hall meetings and store meetings to encourage employees to share their concerns and have a voice.

Discussion Question:

What can a retailer do to motivate store associates without actually paying them more money?


Source: Erin Rigik, Retail Wire, February 14, 2014; Juice Images/Glow Images Extended Credit Required= N Business Unit Rights = MHE World Asset Source= Glow Images