Motivating millennials. As if trying to come up with fresh sales incentives doesn’t challenge you enough, you’re coming up with fresh sales incentives for millennials, a group of 80 million American 18-35 year olds known for constant recognition needs and job hopping.
Dealing with these stereotypes adds some pressure. And who has time to sit and come up with incredible new sales incentives on a regular basis, anyway? Certainly not you.
Luckily we have a secret ingredient you can rely on, and a list to get you started. Let’s get right into the ingredient: Nostalgia.
One note before we get too far: Because we work with many customers running sales contests, many of these incentives were thought up with that in mind. They’re simple, tangible rewards meant to act as a prize on top of contests or a token to reinforce positive behaviors and drive motivation.
A Bit About Nostalgia
Countless research shows the positive impact of nostalgia. One study in the Journal of Memory revealed that it can boost mood and reduce stress. Another, by University of Southampton researchers, showed that it raises self-esteem and optimism. Pretty perfect for a sales environment, right?
Plus, in plain terms, nostalgia just makes people happy. Who doesn’t want to smile at some silly blow-up furniture they saved their babysitting money to purchase, or laugh at a song that instantly takes them back to an awkward school dance?
While none of the sales incentives examples mentioned here are fancy, they all pack an extra punch with the nostalgia they’ll bring your millennial workforce. Alright, on with those ideas…
Nostalgic Sales Incentives for Millennials
1. Chance to pick out a piece of inflatable furniture for the office
2. Desk games from childhood (Think “Waterful Ring-Toss”)
3. Pogs (In substitution for things like badges, let reps stack these on their desks to represent accomplishments.)
4. DVDs of 90210, Full House or another show your team grew up watching
5. Chance to choose an old-school movie that they and two other team members can watch during the workday (Goonies, anyone?)
6. Chance to choose a scene from an old movie for the rest of the team to act out
7. Chance to choose a top 30-list of ’90s songs — then one is played office-wide each morning for the next month (The University of Southampton study referenced earlier also showed that people who listened to nostalgic songs reported higher levels of optimism.)
8. Character trophies from childhood movies (We pass around a Mr. Miyagi doll at LevelEleven to team members whose blogs get ranked on the first page of Google.)
9. The Jock Jams CD collection — or any other funny CDs from your team’s youth
10. ‘90s candy gift pack (You can order these pre-made.)
11. Old-school desk decorations, like lava lamps
12. Team laser tag outing
13. Chance to pick out a favorite ’90s game/toy for the office (Having a Skip It in the office could offer some serious entertainment.)
14. Hour off of work to play the Oregon Trail (Get free access to the game here.)
15. Requirement for everyone not being recognized (Ex: with team contests, the losing team) to create a new desk/office name tag with their very first screenname (This one’s guaranteed to get some laughs.)
16. Rule where everyone else not being recognized has to come to work dressed in ’90s gear
Nothing on this list takes real budget or even much energy. But don’t overestimate the power of nostalgia. Happy childhood reminders offer a great way to keep your millennials motivated and team culture strong.