Age Discrimination in the Workplace

We recently spoke about discrimination against women in the workplace, but unfortunately, gender bias isn’t the only prejudice found in companies across the nation.

Ageism is becoming increasingly common in organizations, especially those in tech industries based in Silicon Valley, where the median age of an employee is 30. Tech industry workers also often see a decline in their salaries and the number of jobs available to them once they turn 45.

Let us repeat that. Forty-five.


Minion from Despicable Me saying what


But before we continue, let’s address what age discrimination is and how it can affect your company legally and culturally.


Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Age discrimination is the unfair treatment of someone older than 40 solely due to their age, and it’s illegal for companies to do under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This law applies to all parts of the employment process – including age discrimination in hiring, which is a hot topic due to recent ageism lawsuits against a few big-name corporations.

In April 2019, an age discrimination lawsuit filed against PwC earned class-action status in federal court. The plaintiffs in the case allege that PwC discriminated against older applicants by recruiting mainly on college campuses and school-affiliated job sites.

That’s a big deal.

Recruiting on college campuses has become a common practice for a lot of organizations. And while recruiting on college campuses isn’t illegal, it’s a form of ageism if open job listings are only accessible to the younger workforce – like millennials and Gen Z.


The outcome of this lawsuit has the potential to change the way companies, like yours, hire new talent moving forward.


But unfair hiring practices aren’t the only trending practice of ageism. Google and IBM also faced claims of age discrimination after a large number of older employees were laid-off from both companies in what some call an attempt to make their workforce younger.


How Age Discrimination Affects Company Culture

After looking at these cases, it’s understandable why some older employees have a constant fear of being fired. This uncertainty hinders the employee experience and impacts company culture negatively. Here’s how different types of age discrimination affect a company’s culture:

Age Discrimination in Hiring
As mentioned earlier, age bias is a massive problem in hiring. By excluding an entire generation of candidates, businesses are limiting their talent pool and diversity, too. Older employees have years of experience to share with their company, and they also tend to have a network they can leverage for business opportunities. It’s a good idea to be openminded in hiring and make sure you consider a person based on their qualifications and not their age.

Age Discrimination in Firing
Wrongful termination due to age is not only illegal, but it ruins company culture by spreading fear and uncertainty – which are the opposite of what you’d want your company culture to be. Fear and uncertainty also fuel an employee’s decision to leave a company. The cost of onboarding a new employee is much more expensive than retaining one. You can calculate the cost of employee turnover specific to your company using this employee turnover calculator.

Age Discrimination in Promotions
Older employees often get overlooked for promotions, even if they are the most qualified person for a leadership position. Promoting an inexperienced employee over someone who deserves it creates disengaged employees. What’s the point of working hard if someone less certified than you will get the job anyway? Disengaged employees are the last thing you want at your company because they are expensive to maintain. A Gallup report found that the U.S. loses an average of $450 billion to $500 billion a year due to disengaged employees.


How can you put older employees at ease? Here are some recommendations:


  • Be transparent with lay-offs and hiring practices. Nothing feeds fear more than unannounced firings or questionable new hires. Trust is the core of all great organizations, and your employees deserve open communication, with no penalties, to develop trust.
  • Avoid labeling employees the “mom” or “dad” of the office. This can be hard to enforce because it depends on a person’s personal preference. Some people may find work nicknames fun, but others may strongly dislike it. Use your better judgment on nicknames and listen to an employee if they ask you to stop calling them a certain term.
  • Represent an all-inclusive workforce. It’s fine to use a specific set of images for design purposes, but try to make them inclusive of all ages, genders, and racial groups. Details like this matter particularly when you’re hiring or promoting your brand.
  • Embrace continuous feedback. An “always on” feedback system ensures your employees have a voice in the company. It alerts your managers on any issues or suggestions employees have to improve company culture and helps drive employee-centric decisions.
  • Recognize your employees often. Constant recognition makes your employees feel valued. It also lets them know that the work they’re doing matters – and it fuels their sense of belonging in the company.
  • Use performance management software. Performance management software provides clarity for promotions and firings. It also helps employees understand where they stand with the company in terms of opportunities for advancement, or if they’re at risk of being let go.


Ready to Engage Your Entire Team?

Visit Kazoo’s resource library for more information on how to make work meaningful or schedule a demo to redesign your employee experience today!



Get excited! The 2019 WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference is coming up on May 6-8 in Orlando, FL.


And guess what? Kazoo will be there at Booth #317!


Cue the confetti dance.

Man throwing confetti and dancing


This year’s Total Rewards Conference is focused on:

  • Innovating how you reward and engage employees
  • Exploring fresh perspectives for forward-thinking concepts
  • Putting your organization at the forefront of all things total rewards

Whether you want to redefine recognition or get a new perspective on purpose-driven workplaces, our team is happy to hear your thoughts and offer ways to help at the conference.


Bonus: Get a free t-shirt for stopping by!


Conference attendees who talk to our team at Booth #317 will get one of our incredibly comfortable t-shirts (and a super cool sticker!) for free. Score!


Can’t wait to meet us?

You can schedule a demo of Kazoo to get a sneak peek before the big event, and we’ll follow-up with you in person at the conference.

We look forward to experiencing the event with you! (P.S. Did we mention we’ll be at Booth #317?)

About Kazoo

Kazoo is the only all-in-one people management solution in the market that takes recognition, engagement, and performance and delivers them in one powerful platform. Through its Recognition & Rewards, Performance Management, and Surveys offerings, Kazoo is an award-winning, employee-first solution that increases productivity, retention, and revenue, and enables companies to build a purpose-driven culture of high engagement and high performance. With over 500 global customers, the Kazoo platform puts actionable analytics in the hands of business leaders, connecting them to what really matters. Kazoo is when work is working.



Have you ever had an experience or moment that stuck with you, to this day? It could be anything from a magical trip to a Disney resort, or a surprise birthday party. Now, imagine if you could recreate a moment like this on the spot and instantly make your day better, particularly at work. “The Power of Moments” teaches you how to make these moments happen to make work more fun – and more meaningful.

What is “The Power of Moments”?

Written by brothers Chip and Dan Heath, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact explores the idea of why some experiences are more memorable than others, regardless of how positive or negative they are. It also offers a framework for creating more of these moments in our day-to-day lives, instead of waiting for them to occur naturally.

The book lists four elements that contribute to memorable experiences: elevation, insight, pride, and connection.

Chip explains the four elements as follows (via Forbes):

  • Moments of elevation lift us above the every day, inspiring emotions such as joy, delight, and a deep sense of engagement.
  • Moments of insight rewire our understanding of ourselves or our world. These are the epiphanies, realizations, and “aha!” moments.
  • Moments of pride capture us at our best, achieving things we weren’t sure were possible or being recognized by other people for our work or our talents.
  • Moments of connection deepen our ties to other people, sometimes in personal relationships and sometimes in groups that bond by virtue of struggling together toward a common goal.

How Your Company Makes Work Fun with Kazoo

1. Befriend Your Co-workers with Customized Behavior Bonuses We all have co-workers we don’t know well because we work in different departments. They’re the people you awkwardly nod at in the break room when you go in for your third cup of coffee. Wouldn’t it be nice to branch out of your department and get to know them?

A Behavior Bonus encourages you to do just that. A Behavior Bonus is an action your company chooses to incentivize with points on the Kazoo platform. Companies can award a different number of points to each Behavior Bonus depending on how impactful they determine it is.

For example, one of our Behavior Bonuses at Kazoo is to go to lunch with someone from another department, in exchange for five points. You can also earn more points if you both walk to lunch!

Behavior Bonuses help your company create moments of connection that reflect your core values, like teamwork, in a tangible way. Companies that have multiple offices, or are physically fragmented, use Behavior Bonuses to help unify their teams into one organization. It’s an easy way for your company to enhance company culture because Behavior Bonuses are specific to your employees and what they value.

Shadow a Coworker Behavior Bonus


2. Offer Meaningful Rewards Rewards are a terrific way to boost employee morale because people look forward to them. And sometimes an experience-based reward can mean a lot more to an employee than an Amazon gift card (though we like Amazon gift cards, too).

That’s why we make it easy to customize your rewards on our platform. Experience-based rewards elevate an average day by creating joy at work. At our Kazoo office in Austin, for instance, our Account Manager Team Lead, Stuart, will clean a co-worker’s desk for only 500 points (he’s a neat freak, FYI).

Plus, it feels good to be a part of an inside joke at work. It makes people feel special and included, which creates a moment of connection between co-workers.

Coffee from the Boss Reward Elizabeth Returns a Package


3. Surprise a Co-worker with a “Point Bomb” For times when a basic recognition post isn’t enough, that’s where a “point bomb” comes in. A point bomb is a term we coined here at Kazoo, and it’s when we get a group of people to send one person recognition, but at the same time.

It’s like 20 people getting together and throwing a lot of joyful confetti on someone who deserves it, but with points. (Confetti is always fun!)


A point bomb highlights a moment of pride – you’re taking the time to recognize someone and make them feel special.


4. Use our Insights Feature for an “Aha!” Moment What better way to strike a moment of insight than with our Insights feature? Kazoo offers analytics on numerous factors, from the total number of recognitions sent in your company to the top core values being rewarded. This data can help you learn how to create a more positive experience at work for employees, by analyzing what gets them engaged and what doesn’t. Who says data can’t be fun?

We also offer an added survey feature for organizations who want to give their employees more of a voice in the company.


Are you Ready to Have Fun at Work?

These are just a few examples of how Kazoo can make any workday special. Are you ready to learn more about the Kazoo experience? Fill out a demo request today to get started!

Most people would agree that receiving extra money is a good incentive to work harder and stay motivated on the job. Maybe you offer an annual bonus but are looking for ways to reward employees for the rest of the year to keep them motivated. There are also people, however, who prefer to be recognized in a different way. The difference is employees want to be recognized, not rewarded.

Recent studies by the Incentive Research Foundation Resource Center suggests that non-cash rewards/awards are a very important component of recognition and are, in many cases, preferred over cash rewards.

There are plenty of ways to go about employee recognition without spending money. Whether you keep it simple or get creative with how you recognize those who do a good job, it’s important to be consistent.

The following is a list of ideas on how to recognize employees using non-monetary rewards:


1. Verbally Praise Employees It costs nothing but goes a long way with employees to hear how well they are doing. Practice boosting morale with words of encouragement and by catching people doing things right. Employees are used to hearing when things go wrong, but how often do you praise them for getting the job done right or meeting your expectations? Make it a daily practice to offer praise and help people feel valued.


2. Handwritten Notes go a Long Way Surprise your employee by placing a handwritten note card, sticky note, or stock thank you card on their keyboard.


3. Use Brag Boards Mention the employee’s good work on a brag board. Don’t place the board in the kitchen. Put it right as employees walk in for everyone to see. Get sparkly and add gold and silver stars to measure success. They like public recognition so everyone knows what a good job they are doing.


4. Print Certificates of Achievement Microsoft Office has a ton of certificate options that are free to download. You can create them as a yearly award. Many employees will know to expect them and will work harder to achieve their goals to get another certificate. This is a keepsake that employees can frame at their desk, office or cubicle and can hold onto for life.


5. Get Pot Lucky Provide a company luncheon to show your gratitude. Have each employee sign up to bring in a dish. It’s not even so much the food, as the camaraderie people experience at a work luncheon that makes it a hit. Socializing with management makes them feel like a valued part of the team.


6. Trust them to do Their Job For some people, the only reward they need is to feel valued and appreciated. You can show them your appreciation by allowing them some flexibility and giving them added responsibilities that you know they can handle.


7. Provide Clear and Regular Communication Be fair, objective and transparent. This can mean upper management visiting the sales team or the shop floor, for example. Be there to set clear expectations and let them know when they have met your expectations.


8. Send Ecards Thank an employee for going above and beyond with a social media post, or join an online service to offer employees unique recognition rewards.


9. Brown Bag a Picnic Take your employees out for the afternoon. Have them bring in their lunch, do business in the morning and at lunchtime, head to the nearest park. Assign someone to bring the grill, the horseshoes, and have fun.


10. Use Online Rewards Let your employees be your Facebook fans of the week and toot their horn on your page. This way, they can share their success with family and friends. Tweet the praise.


11. Make it Company News Acknowledge their efforts in your company newsletter and let it be a note from the CEO instead of the manager.


12. Lunch from the President/CEO Have the “powers that be” bring in their lunch as a nice surprise. It can be a home-cooked meal. Clear the conference room just for the achievers and have the President deliver the praise, lunch, and sit down with them to get to know more about them. All business aside! Just the thought would make them feel so appreciated.


13. Be Flexible Allow performing employees an opportunity to be more flexible with their time in order to meet family demands. Create summer hours with shorter in-office work days. Rearrange working times to an extra hour the first part of the week in exchange for lesser hours the latter of the week.


Who doesn’t like a pat on the back now and then? It doesn’t take a lot of money to show employees how much you appreciate their hard work. Use one or more of these ideas with your employees to foster a strong sense of trust and trust. These traits go a long way in satisfying employees and retaining them long-term. It doesn’t take a lot of money to run an employee recognition program. Little gestures and thank you’s are appreciated as long as they are sincere.


About the Author

Shenomenon is a company that builds brands through writing, content, and marketing while providing essential training and services that help you grow.



The gender pay gap has garnered a lot of discussion in the past few years due to the shocking statistics behind it and the recent monumental women’s movements such as #MeToo.

Women are still heavily disadvantaged in the workplace despite strides to close the gap. And it gets worse with time. The disproportion between experience and pay increases for most women as they move further in their careers.

That’s why the National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition of women’s and civil rights organizations, created Equal Pay Day in 1996 to bring awareness to the issue in the U.S.

But what should companies, like yours, be taking away from the Equal Pay Day conversation?

First, it’s important to understand what the day symbolizes and how it affects women differently in your company.

Equal Pay Day lands on a different date each year to represent how many more days, on average, American women would have to work to earn what their male counterparts made the previous year. This year it landed on April 2, which means women would have to work at least an additional 92 days in 2019 to earn what their male coworkers made in 2018.

A woman leads a meeting by presenting on a whiteboard

An Overview of the Wage Gap

Did you know that almost 97 percent of professions have a gender pay gap?

Even women who work full-time in lower-paying occupations earn roughly 85 percent of what their male coworkers make.

And the disparity is harsher for women of color. Native American, Asian, Black, and Hispanic women will have their Equal Pay Day even later in the year — some not until November. Out of all minority groups, Asian women have the hardest time breaking into leadership positions.


What Closing the Pay Gap Could Mean for the Economy

Studies have found that closing the pay gap could decrease global poverty, increasing women’s earning by $2 trillion overall. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research reported in 2017 that paying men and women the same could also cut the poverty rate of working women in half.

But it’s estimated that the pay gap won’t be closed for another 50 years.


So, How Can Your Company Help Combat Wage Inequality?

  1. Give your employees better benefits
    Work-life balance tends to affect women in the workplace more than men. That’s why the right kind of benefits are important to women at work because it helps them work without interruptions.

    Here are a few perks you can offer your employees to help them with their
    work-life balance:
    – Unlimited paid-time-off (including holidays and sick days)
    – Flexible work-from-home
    – Paid maternity and paternity leave
    – Onsite daycare services
    – Career development opportunities
  2. Start a mentorship program for women in your company
    Women’s mentorship programs pair younger females to experienced women leaders in your company. Women who are further in their fields typically have valuable advice to offer about common workplace problems that women face. These mentorship programs are intended to help women entering the workforce navigate challenging struggles in their careers, including the gender pay gap, work-life balance, sexism, and harassment.
  3. Recognize women in your company frequently
    Women often go unrecognized in the workplace and it’s one of the easiest places to make a difference. Using the Kazoo platform, your company can empower and recognize women often for their achievements and track their success with our performance management feature. Women can track their goals and ask for feedback in real-time, which can later help them negotiate a raise or ask for a promotion.
  4. Check yourselves
    The best thing your company can do to close the pay gap is to recognize if you’re contributing to the problem. Start by drafting an audit on the current layout of your company. Include a list of your employees’ job titles, experience, compensation, and gender. Do you notice a difference between salaries that shouldn’t be there? If yes, you should work with your HR department to address the matter.


While these are just a few examples of how your company can approach the Equal Pay Day discussion, there are many other ways to start an internal dialogue on the topic. The most important thing you can do to help is to give women in your company a voice to contribute to those conversations.



Exciting News for YouEarnedIt and HighGround

In July, when YouEarnedIt acquired HighGround, we knew big things would be in store for our combined organization. As part of our continued commitment to pushing the boundaries in HR technology, we’ve been working tirelessly over the past few months to create an unparalleled, integrated people management solution.

Our focus on empowering companies to better engage the modern workplace has driven us to continue investing in our platform to bring an integrated employee productivity, engagement, culture, and performance management solution to the market.

Today, we’re thrilled to share what the future of our organization will be with our new brand name:


YouEarnedIt | HighGround have rebranded. Meet Kazoo!


Why Kazoo?

When we combined our two companies, we knew we had an opportunity to revolutionize the perception of HR software and create a platform that would change the industry. Our philosophy and approach to work is different than anyone else’s, and now our brand is different than anyone else’s.

We took a word and made it mean something new. Something bolder.

Kazoo empowers organizations by putting your people front-and-center, strengthening connections and relationships at work, enabling better cultures, and providing all employees and leaders with what they need to succeed. We are boldly redefining what it means to work, creating rewarding and purpose-filled workplaces where businesses and people achieve their potential.


Kazoo is when work is working.

Kazoo now brings your key people management tools — Recognition & Rewards, Performance Management, and Surveys — together into one powerful, engaging, and easy-to-use platform.

This is an exciting development for our company and for you as we are able to expand our platform to offer you enhanced social recognition, an unparalleled rewards engine, the ability to easily capture the voice of employees through better measurement tools, and an industry-leading real-time performance management solution.


“We are boldly redefining what it means to work.”


We are committed to innovating our platform to bring the best possible solution to market to serve our current and future customers.

Find out today what Kazoo can do for you.