Millennials and their role in the workplace continue to be a hot topic for discussion across most industries. I don’t necessarily like to single them out, but the reality is that they represent the largest generation in the workforce, and are projected to make up nearly 75% of it by 2030.
Forbes points out that Millennial employees average about two years at a job, compared to three and seven years for Gen X and Baby Boomers, respectively. This presents companies with an opportunity. How do we engage these savvy, forward-thinkers and retain them to innovate and grow the business? It needs to be done in a way that captures their entrepreneurial mindset.
First and foremost, they need to believe that management believes in their growth and ability, so focusing on building a real relationship is key. Invest some time to get to know them, while also boosting morale through things like company sponsored happy hours, outings, and services in the office. Find out what their goals and what inspires them. This will go a lot farther than you think.
Another way to keep Millennial employees engaged is by offering frequent feedback. They thrive on consistent check-ins, status updates, and continuous coaching. Harvard Business Review cited a study that shows Millennials want feedback 50% more often than other employees. That same article tells us that while Millennials have been found to have higher self-esteem, they also have more anxiety and greater need for praise.
Make it meaningful
While we all understand the importance of building genuine relationships, we should use positive reinforcement, and sincere praise as a way to engage, motivate and inspire great work from them.
We should also empower them to take calculated risks to appeal to their innovative mindset. Let them know it’s OK to make mistakes you can recover from, after all, that’s probably how you got to where you are, right? When a boss or manager connects with the entrepreneurial spirit, it will help unleash each employee’s creativity.
Millennials welcome challenges and the opportunity to move forward. Knowing that their contributions are valued provides them with meaning and purpose and is a big motivator for these critical thinkers. This coupled with a line-of-sight of forward mobility within the company will help them stay. As Harvard Business Review suggests, coaching employees isn’t about telling them what to do, but helping them to achieve all that they are capable of doing.
It’s no secret that Millennials are the future of our companies. To ensure business results, provide them with a culture that sets them on a compelling and progressive path of achievement and success.
For more resources about engaging your employees and to access important engagement strategies for both millennials and all generations in your workforce, visit us or talk to a Marketing Innovations solutions expert today.
Hbr.org: Millennials want to be coached at work. February 27, 2015.