How To Engage Millennials At Work

How To Engage Millennials At Work

A disengaged millennial workforce leads to heavy losses for an organization. Learn how to engage millennials at work

Jacob Dillon

Millennials are rapidly becoming the driving force in many of our workplaces, and the trend is set to continue for at least the next ten years or so until the younger generations enter the job market and previous generations go into retirement. Till then, market leaders have to find out ways on how to motivate and engage a millennial workforce such that they give the best results and showcase optimum productivity.

The millennials have changed the job market a lot, and that means that managers have to rethink the way they interact with their employees. This new generation of workers expect greater flexibility and remote working options, and also want to work in a job in which they feel empowered.

30% Millennial feel that ‘Meaningful work’ is the most important criteria that they pursue at the workplace-Generation Insights

Udemy conducted a survey recently. According to it, millennials in the age group of 21 to 24 are likely

To be bored nearly twice (38%) than baby boomers (22%).

Getting Started to Engage Millennials at Work

There will be huge productivity loss when the millennial employees get disengaged at work.

As per Gallup, the US losses between $450 billion and $550 due to disengaged employees. That’s not all.

When they get bored with their work, the millennial employees start searching for jobs elsewhere leading to high attrition rates.

The need of the hour is – Engage the millennial employees with the work that infuses passion in their minds. The lack of constant engagement is one of the many reasons why the millennial employees are getting bored at work.

This is the first and first foremost thing that needs to be understood and fixed. Motivating this valuable workforce will make all of the difference to your company, but it isn’t always easy to get it right. That’s where this article comes in. Here are just a few of the most effective ways to motivate your millennial employees.

Young talent is great to work with but hard to recruit and retain. If you try following these steps then you’ll be off to a good start when it comes to retaining your most valuable staff members.

1. Provide encouragement, guidance and feedback

Millennial employees are more likely to stay loyal to jobs with development opportunities. The best way to enable it is to provide ongoing mentorship, guidance and feedback. It’s a win/win situation because providing this feedback helps them get better – and ultimately add more value to your company.

[Tired of using the old methods to engage employees? Check out our guide on Employee Engagement to motivate and engage your millennials at work.]

2. Give them the tools they need-

You wouldn’t ask a lumberjack to cut down trees without an axe or a chainsaw, and yet we expect employees to make miracles happen without the tools that they require. That’s why you shouldn’t be afraid to approve budget requests and to allow people to use tools- if these can help them to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

3. Promote them internally-

As part of their determination to grow, millennials like to receive promotions and even to help shape the departments that they work in. That’s why it’s a good idea to promote internally where possible and even to create new job roles and titles with specific employees in mind. Millennials won’t wait around if they see no opportunities for progression and you’ll quickly find yourself haemorrhaging talent to your competitors.

4. Improve the work environment-

Improving the working environment is a sure fire way to increase employee retention and to encourage your millennial employees to stick around. You can improve the work environment by increasing pay scales, promoting from within, helping them to achieve a work/life balance, providing competitive benefits, encouraging friendly employee relationships and trusting your employees with responsibility.

5. Offer flexibility

One study found that a good work/life balance is the number one priority for millennials. On top of this, they also appreciate that the stereotypical 9-5 no longer exists. They’re willing to work overtime and weekends, but only if you offer the same flexibility when it comes to holidays, afternoons off and more.

6. Give out rewards

Rewarding millennial employees when they’ve done a good job helps to encourage them to be enthusiastic about their work. It can even help to create a spirit of friendly competition between different departments and help to increase overall job satisfaction. Use tools like enterprise to make the process of rewarding very smooth.

7. Let them have a side-hustle

Many companies are still using generic terms and conditions that prevent employees from working on a side-hustle, although that’s starting to change as companies like Google, Atlassian, LinkedIn and Apple give employees freer reign to work on passion projects. It’s understandable because you don’t want your employees to go freelance and to take your clients with them, but at the same time it’s important to support people and to help them to grow. After all, as a general rule, the most talented copywriters, designers and film-makers are working on novels, art and movies in their own time. The least your company can do is to offer support where possible to help to foster their long-term career.

8. Ask for feedbac

Millennials won’t hesitate to tell you if they think that something is wrong, so be sure to listen to the gossip around the water cooler and to go out of your way to ask people what they think. Don’t just save it for annual reviews. Instead, make it an ongoing thing and a part of your company’s culture. Then, once you’ve received feedback, take action.

9. Be transparent

Transparency has been a big buzzword over the last few years thanks to the rise of social networking, which makes it almost impossible for companies to lie or to bend the truth without someone calling them out. Millennials are the first generation to grow up alongside social networking and they expect the same transparency, authenticity and trust from the companies that they work for as they do from the companies that they buy from.

10. Recognize long service

Surveys show that a third of new hires quit their jobs within six months of starting. That’s why you should go out of your way to recognize those employees who stick around for the long haul. This sends out a signal to other employees that you value their contributions to the company and can help to encourage your millennials to stay with you for longer.

11. Provide them more learning opportunities

Updating one's skills is not just the order but the need of the day. The reason being - technology is changing quite often and throwing multiple challenges to the millennial employees. If they don’t update their skills, they will become obsolete and remain unwanted in the companies. In order to make them not become obsolete, provide them with enough learning opportunities.

There is a paradigm shift in the way people are learning skills these days. Anything can be learnt at any time and also at any place with the availability of new age training platforms such as Udemy and Coursera etc.

In the end, be considerate, listen to them, and make them feel like vital cogs of the organization

If you want your employees to be motivated and dedicated to what they’re doing, you need to learn everything you can about their background, their goals in life and the demands that they have, both as individuals and as a generation as a whole. Only then can you leverage what you know to create a motivated and productive office environment. We hope that the tips in this article help out. Good luck.

Jacob Dillon

Jacob Dillon is an editor and journalist from Sydney, New South Wales.