Summary: 3 simple steps to generate employee engagement within the millennial workforce.
There are mountains of information and opinions on how to work with millennials. We’ve mined through the proverbial trenches to present you with these gems:
First and foremost, this generation craves recognition. It’s motivating to be acknowledged for the time, effort and devotion to the task. Be careful, praise that is not genuine or doled out like ‘participation awards’ is quickly identified as disingenuous and will leave a negative impression. One great way to do this is to extend feedback with information on how the organization benefited from individual contributors. Our founder, Carolyn Douglas spoke to Ignite magazine back in 2014 on how to use your Intranet to help recognize employee contributions. Our Intranet Software comes with an application ready for you to get started with best practices for Employee Recognition.
Tied-in with the first point, diversity is an important identifier for millennials as they are the most ethnically diverse generation in the workforce. As an employer, you have a real opportunity to celebrate the unique and diverse nature of your millennial employees. Celebrate the diversity in your workforce, recognizing those employees that bring merit to the company. This does not just come from the ethnic background either. Millennials work hard to be and feel unique; give them the opportunity to shine in their own ways and you will see engagement both with the work and the workplace grow.
Tip: Move training online to facilitate learning styles as diverse as your workforce and boost retention. Because millennials have grown up with technology at their fingertips, this type of learning is highly relevant.
For most millennials, issuing a challenge gives them drive. One great way to do this is to provide a framework to work through and let the millennial carve their own decision path. By instilling a sense of ownership over a project and encouraging goals to overcome a challenge, you increase employee engagement as well as investment into the work being done. Additionally, the progress on these challenges gives you material to recognize the employee for.
Tip: avoid micromanaging here – encourage questions and provide guidance rather than directing the challenge provided. A sense of responsibility and the process of learning by doing will produce high levels of engagement and arguably, this kind of exercise is useful for any generation of employee.
Millennials are a vital portion of the workforce. By celebrating their diversity and challenging them, you will increase levels of engagement, and produce an environment that shines from every facet.
By recognizing millennials, celebrating In the end, millennials aren’t that different from other generations; but if you try to understand where they are coming from, their acceptance of technology, and approach with respect and honesty, you will be pleasantly surprised in return. In my own opinion, the mark of the millennial in the workforce should signal more towards the need of business to shift its ideas of the modern workforce and less on stereotyping an entire generation. Consider it the natural progress of the business.
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