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Young people form an essential part of the working population, making up a significant portion of the active workforce and bringing lots of valuable skills to companies, not least their tech-savviness and adaptability when it comes to all things digital and tech. 

Understanding what motivates young people and how they perceive potential employers and companies is the starting point for attracting them to your organisation. If you think that employee incentives and benefits form part of this, you’re not wrong – but this is only one piece of the puzzle.

Employee incentives and benefits feed into one overarching concept you must hone in on: your company culture.

What is company culture?

Robert Walters reported that half of young people cite poor company culture as a critical area that stops them from applying to, and continuing working fo,r a company.

Company culture refers to many things, including but not limited to:

  • Overall work environment, office structure and shared employee spaces.
  • Company missions, values and ethos – and how these are enacted. 
  • Team cohesiveness, ethics and expectations
  • How things like equality, diversity and inclusion are made a priority.
  • How success is acknowledged and celebrated.
  • How mistakes or failures are acknowledged and handled.

Company culture is essential because:

  • Employees are more likely to enjoy work when their needs and values are consistent with their employers.
  • Good company culture leads to better relationships between coworkers and boosts productivity.
  • When there’s strong alignment between company culture and employees, they’re more likely to stay at the company for longer, which reduces turnaround (and the associated costs).

Many brands and companies get company culture wrong – thinking it’s simply offering free fruit Fridays or a pizza party for the sales team that reaches their target at the end of the month. While these things are important,  they don’t equal the positive culture that encourages potential employees to apply to and keep working for a company.

Knowing that company culture is vital to young people and attracting fresh talent with the right skills for your business, how do you promote it?

3 ways to promote a positive culture

Employers must ensure they accurately and visually represent their company culture across the board.

Here are three easy tips for getting started with proactively promoting your company culture, externally and internally:

1. set the CULTURE with your job ads

Crafting an excellent job ad can take time, but it’s crucial to attracting new talent. There are several ways to promote the company culture alongside job expectations and role requirements in your job ads.

Some questions to answer to help with this include:

  • Is the day-to-day work environment more informal or formal? Is the dress code more corporate or relaxed? 
  • Does the teamwork in an open office, or are individual teams sectioned off from one another? Do people work from home – is flexi-work available? 
  • Is the expectation on individual KPIs and achievements, or is the work more collaborative?
  • How are new employees supported during their initial months?

These things indicate a priority within your teams and help set the foundation for overall work culture and expectations.


Consistent research has found that employee incentives, benefits and perks are also significant – but you need to dive deep and understand precisely what your teams want, need and expect. It indicates to employees that you’re willing to listen and compromise where possible – another vital aspect of company culture.

A company’s employee incentives and benefits packages tend to differ from place to place, and yes, some businesses don’t offer anything at all, but the consensus from young people is that these things have significant sway when weighing up whether to work for an organisation or not. 

Company culture and benefits go beyond the big package that forms part of an employee’s contract. It also includes the small unique things about your workplaces that create drawcards for employees. It might be things like remembering individual birthdays and ensuring these are acknowledged in fun ways. It could be a ‘funny things the team said’ quotes board in the kitchen or a weekly joke/pun thread everyone contributes to. These things might seem small, but they add up to create a cohesive, connected team.


Be clear on how you’re acknowledging and rewarding staff. A decent rewards scheme that’s clear, accessible and tailored to match individuals’ and different teams’ deliveries and KPIs is a great starting point.

Physical and digital gift cards always go down well, and being clear on the corporate incentives package available to new employees is a great way to demonstrate clear and open transparency about what working hard will get them. 

Our partner brand True Rewards can take all the hard work out of creating a rewards scheme your staff will love. With personal customisation and messages for each gift, True Rewards delivers that joyous feeling of receiving a gift in the digital space.

Gift cards aren’t just for sales team incentives either. Birthdays, Christmas, and other events that matter to your employees can be acknowledged with a gift card. These gestures at times that matter to employees can set you apart from competitors and remind staff they’re valued as people – not just workers.

What can you offer young talent?

Unsurprisingly, young people at the start of their careers value clarity and transparency about company culture and benefits are crucial decision factors.

Overpromising, promoting a rewards scheme that’s opaque, and a bait-and-switch on the job role advertised versus the one they experience post-hire, are sure to increase churn. High staff turnover equals high recruitment and onboarding costs.

A solid rewards and incentives scheme is a key part of attracting and retaining this young talent and reducing your hiring costs. Find out how we can customise an employment incentives scheme to support your business today.