Millennials are shaking up the workforce ever since they’ve been recognized. It is already being touted as the largest workforce segment in the workplace. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the millennial workforce is expected to reach 75 percent by 2030.
The new wave of people are not just ambitious but also like to work with their own terms and conditions. As per a guide published by Gallup, the following facts were discovered regarding the millennial engagement:
- Around 55 percent of millennials are not engaged at work
- More than 60 percent of millennials are either looking for or are open to change their job
By keeping the above statistics in mind, one can easily figure out the need to keep millennials engaged and happy at work so they continue to perform to the best of their abilities.
Below down are some easy-peasy ways to keep millennials engaged at work:
1) Understand their expectations
Millennials have a bad rap for being a little too casual and carefree. It’s often overlooked the contribution they bring in terms of innovation and effort to an organization.
You might think that this generation of workers doesn’t care much but if you put some effort to know them personally, understand their expectations, they would gift you their loyalty for a lifetime and will always go the extra mile for you.
How to understand millennials:
- Spend some time and get to know them personally
- Hold discussions and meeting to know their expectations
- Read specialized books and articles on millennials and their characteristics
2) Treat them as ‘equals’
While the number of millennial workers might be increasing day by day, Gen X and baby boomers still constitute a big chunk at workplaces in general. Moreover, there are multiple stereotypes and cliche`s associated with them that comes in the way of people trusting them.
From the on-boarding to feedback process, treat them the way you would treat someone in a senior position. Avoid any millennial jokes, remarks, and comments to avoid offending someone or hurting their sentiments.
How to treat millennials fairly:
- Include them in meetings
- Listen to their ideas
- Implement their advice and give credit
3) Offer flexibility
Millennials prefer to work for an organization that gives them the ability to work from home or have flexible working hours. In one of the CNBC articles, it was stated that the younger workforce is willing to take a pay cut for a company that offers flexible hours.
The above fact busts a myth that millennials run behind a job that offers perks and high salary. The best way to inculcate flexibility in your organization would be to understand the nature of your business first and figure out how effectively they can divide hours to work as per their productive clock.
How to offer them flexibility:
- Allocate work in advance so they know what to do when
- Compressed work week
- Flextime schedule for employees
- Offer teleworking and remote work to workers
Encourage them to take up more
Millennials like to be challenged. They enjoy taking up assignments that allow them to stretch their abilities and expand their skills. Employees feel more engaged at work when they are given challenging tasks. It helps them to develop their business acumen and become a more skilled professional.
It’s your duty to motivate them from time to time to take up something new. Give them the opportunities that allow them to go the extra mile. Help them to develop the core skills and teach them the tricks and hacks to do things easier faster, and better.
How to motivate employees:
- Provide new work opportunities
- Give them the latest tools for project management and technologies
- Set an example yourself
Recognize their achievements
Just like other workers, millennials have a keen desire to be acknowledged for their work. The difference between them and other categories of workers is that they aren’t scared to put down their papers if that continues to happen for long.
Be aware of who’s doing what in your organization. If you see people working extra hard on a project, report, or even a task, give them a shout out at the end of the day. Recognizing their achievements is as simple as that, do it more often.
How to acknowledge their hard work:
- Be vocal about their achievements
- Express gratitude for the contribution in public
- Share congratulatory emails to team members after accomplishing something specific
Make more room for feedback
Unlike other generations, millennials don’t fear feedback. They were born in the digital era where there is instant communication and feedback is given instantaneously. Whether or not they say or ask for feedback, they definitely expect instant feedback from seniors and bosses at work.
They might be labeled as ‘narcissist’ or ‘egoistical’ by others, but the demand for continuous feedback help millennials to excel in their respective roles.
Lack of feedback makes them unsure of their abilities which indirectly leads to job-hopping giving them an impression that they aren’t performing as expected. Feedback helps them to figure out how they’re performing and what else can be done to progress and develop in their profession.
How to engage employees through feedback:
- Encourage an open dialogue at work
- Keep all the lines of communication open
- Offer biweekly or monthly review and feedback sessions
Give them enough opportunities to grow
Free food, ping-pong tables, beer on Fridays are all nice and good but millennials want ample opportunities on the work front as well. There is an innate desire to learn new skills and excel in what they do. One of the biggest ways to engage employees is to give them enough opportunities to grow.
If you see a content marketer taking an interest in coding, encourage them to take it up in their free hours or you can even allocate their work items accordingly giving them enough time to try something new. It’s a great way for managers to engage employees and encourage them to expand their skillset.
How can you provide enough opportunities:
- Start with peer to peer mentoring
- Formal workshops
- Enough training opportunities
Offer guidance and mentorship
Just like constructive feedback, millennials seek effective guidance and mentorship from their seniors and bosses. It’s important to tell them who they can go to for help when things aren’t working out. That’s where a great leader comes into the picture that can coach and prepare millennials to take things on their own.
Encourage them to try out new things and expand their skills. Offer the support and guidance required for them to develop the required skills. Don’t just tell them what to do, show them how it could be done.
How to mentor millennials:
- Put them at ease
- Allow mentees to share opinions freely
- Try reverse mentoring with millennials
- Introduce them to other leaders and influencers
How to engage millennial employees in recap:
- Ask them what they want and fulfill their expectations
- Treat them with respect and kindness
- Allow them to work flexibly
- Recognize their achievements
- Offer constructive feedback and adopt a new review and feedback-sharing methods
- Give them enough opportunities to grow
- Offer guidance and mentorship
- Challenge them to try new things
What to take from all of this
Working with millennials is both interesting and fun. To get the best out of them, become their friends and understand how they think, work, and operate.
We are sure that you will find the above tips helpful to engage millennial employees and win their trust. It’s up to you whether you would like to implement these tips one by one or together. That’s how you build strong businesses and maintain a happier workforce.