Young employees will take a marshmallow today vs. a package of marshmallows tomorrow.

That's what a Gen Y expert told me.

He joked that the reason is that most of them believe they will get the pack of marshmallows, anyway, and they want instant gratification.

Perhaps this conversation came to mind for me since tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I'm looking forward to eating my future mother-in-law's candied yams.

(Though I shockingly learned this morning she doesn't put any marshmallows in them, they're still really good!)

But the point is that this new generation of workers want little rewards more often.

They want to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and at the very least get a pat on the back if not a sweeter reward.

It may sound silly but some examples I've heard that worked include:

*Ice cream socials

*Taking staff out to a movie

*Going out for drinks after work (That's my personal favorite.)

*Pot lucks (this costs the company nothing. The employees are paying for themselves!)

We know it's a tough economy out there. Maybe firms can't afford to give bonuses. It would look pretty bad to give them a $20 bonus check, but fork over a few bucks per person on beers or even ice cream sundaes (with marshmallow fluff) and these guys are going to be happy.

At least for the moment.

Note: Accounting Tomorrow staff will be off Thursday and Friday. Check back Monday for an interview with a 28-year-old Gen Y expert.