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Is It Possible To Keep A Multi Generational Workforce Happy?


The more things change, the more they stay the same

Traditionally companies have accepted that understanding the needs and wants of their employees tends to revolve around periodic salary increases.

However, for those who design company compensation and benefits packages, the challenge set by the current multi generational workforce appears to require more than the tried and tested approach.

As it stands, Millennials are already the largest generational group in the workplace. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, within the next two years, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce is expected to be made up of Millennials. It will be 75 percent by 2030.

With a workforce comprised of Millennials, Generation X and the Baby Boomers, the recurring conversation amongst employers is how do you design, build and operate a compensation and benefits package for your company that can keep everyone happy?

In an attempt to find an answer to this question, we reached out to Matt Connor who handles Stock Plan Administration for trivago, and asked what steps they have taken to keep their multi generational workforce happy.

  • Each Employee Is An individual talent

Reward philosophy exists to cultivate an inspiring environment where talents can thrive and feel empowered to do their best. Our approach to talent recruitment and retention is not solely based on salary.  Initial compensation develops together with a talent’s career development, achievements and the value that they create with us.

We follow an individual approach that reflects the talent’s unique context and value contribution. This approach encompasses but is not exclusive to salary, bonuses or participation in the Employee Share Ownership Plan.   We believe that while compensation is one important aspect of a talents decision to come work with trivago, it is not the only factor.

  • Performance Management

trivago believes in robust, honest and regular performance management program.  This includes the annual 360 review but also monthly and quarterly formal check-in with responsibility leads to assess how a talent performance is tracking based on individual goals as well as overall team initiatives and company goals.  At any time, an employee may receive an ad-hoc bonus for going the extra mile and creating extraordinary value.

We also realize that sometimes the value that a talent brings is seen by others who are directly impacted by the work a talent does.   Peer bonuses are keyway for talents to recognize each other for above and beyond efforts that are made.  The peer bonus process is simple and more importantly a real-time benefit.  There are no long forms or onerous approvals to make a peer bonus.  Most are given and approved on the same day.   Real-time feedback is the best way to make a talent feel appreciated and rewarded.

  • Inspire a Culture of Fanatical Learning

One of our core values is Fanatical Learning. We believe that learning is life long and not confined to a talent’s time with us.  Internal job mobility is important and encouraged.  If a talent wishes to move from programming to hotel relations, we support the fluidity and diversity of minds that type of transfer brings about.

We believe knowledge comes from sharing knowledge. This is why we host trivago academies.  Our academy is an interactive presentation on a specific topic that is open to everyone and covers a broad range of topics. They are held in our office by inspirational guest-speakers and allows us to learn from those outside of our environment.

The requirement that each talent continues to learn and grow helps keep our talents from stagnating in their roles. It allows them to explore other areas of interest that could have an unforeseen value contribution.

  • Work-life balancework-life-balance

Work-Life balance is often discussed and given lip service, but it is at the heart of Trivago’s philosophy.

Because trust is at the foundation of our core values, we offer talents self-determined holidays and working hours. We like to create an environment that promotes a state of contentment which allows talents to flourish and achieve their full potential.

Talents decide for themselves how much work is needed in order to be productive and deliver results.  Talents are encouraged to make sure they use this benefit.

We also want our talents to feel healthy and energized. For this reason, we offer a wide range of fitness activities from meditation to boxing.  Besides fitness activities, other activities such as the choir group, theater classes, the mixing table, ping-pong tables, football tables, and other activities allow our talents to work their minds in a different and individual way.

  • Environment

Work environment is critical – We want our work environment to be vibrant, productive and inspiring.

We have a new state of the art office that opened in June 2018.   We have fully stocked kitchens in every area, a full barista bar, a cantina that serves 14 different dishes which covering all diets, various global cuisines and as well as hosting cooking classes for team events. We encourage all our teams to mix it up and not be so siloed even when it comes to socializing.

The last item to encourage mobility and networking is working in.  While working in different locations, we believe in one mission, share the same core values and work towards a common goal. To support this spirit, every talent at trivago is offered the opportunity to work in different offices for up to 4 weeks (Palma, Leipzig, and Düsseldorf).  The travel expenses are paid by us and housing in corporate apartments is provided.  It’s a great experience and allows for complete opportunities for networking and collaborations.

  • It’s All About The Package

Finally, we believe that all these components are part of its compensation and benefits package for talents.  Salary, while always important, cannot be our sole driver for talent.  Whilst we believe that we offer a competitive compensation program, we think that the other intangibles mentioned above are as equally important and help round out the whole package.

We are constantly reviewing and updating our programs as needs change.  We want to remain a place that talents from all over the world want to come work.


Global Shares is an employee equity management company and we’ll be at NASPP27 – come talk to us at booth 116 or click here for more information on how we can help. Our team has grown by more than 300 per cent over the past three years, to more than 290 staff in 15 offices across the globe. We specialize in helping companies attract, retain and engage top talent. When you choose Global Shares, our team of equity experts and award-winning technology platform does all the hard work for you. Talk to us to find out how we can help. We’d love to help you grow alongside us.

Aisling Riordan
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