Decoding Millennials In The Workplace

Monday, 11 December 2017 11:21 Written by
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Millennials, millennials, millennials. So much has been said of this Generation—and not all of it flattering. But one thing is clear—Millennials are the fastest growing generation in the workforce worldwide, and they are rapidly becoming the most influential population in the market.

Despite the large numbers, a ferocious battle for their talent exists.

Millennials care about their paycheck—but it’s been shown that they care equally (or more) about their values. This means that if you want to win this generation over to your organization, you’ll first need to tap into their motivations and build a company culture that embraces their ideals. This culture change requires buy-in from leadership at every level of the organization. It can be a daunting prospect, but if done right, Millennials will reward your company with loyalty.

A 2015 Gallup Poll found that Millennials are the least engaged in the workplace, with only 28.9% saying that they are engaged at work. This, combined with high turnover rates and greater freelance and entrepreneurial opportunities, means that if companies want to retain these valued workers, they will have to double their efforts to meet Millennials where they are.

decoding millennials


So, what motivates Millennials to join—and stay at—a company?

  • Opportunities for personal growth
  • Development of strong relationships
  • Access to transparent and tech-savvy communications
  • Engagement in purposeful work
  • Balance of work and play

For Millennials, professional growth doesn’t necessarily mean they are looking for a promotion. Rather, they want the opportunity to develop the types of specialized skills and emotional progress that will advance their career over the long term. To that end, consider the following three strategies for improving your organisations recruiting and retention rates with Millennials:

  • Develop an awareness of career advancement options
  • Provide educational opportunities
  • Give individual feedback and coaching

Develop an awareness of career advancement options - Even if they’re not currently ready to take on a new role, having access to information about the educational background and skill sets needed for a specific position lets Millennials know what their next steps will be. And— most importantly—it gives them something to strive for. Make sure you have clearly defined career paths, and that your agents are aware of how their career may evolve over time. Encourage their development by providing the opportunity to do work that will lead to professional growth, and publicly celebrate their advancements within your organization.

Provide Educational Opportunities - Whether it’s industry training and certifications, offering reimbursement for continuing education or allowing employees to gain university credits for internal programs, these types of perks are of high value to Millennials for personal and professional growth.

Give Individual Feedback and Coaching - In a traditional environment, feedback usually focuses on meeting specific KPIs or improving recent interactions with customers. While this type of feedback is relevant to improving organizational goals, it doesn’t necessarily correlate to an employee’s own professional goals. Instead, coaching should focus on that person’s individual strengths and motivations. For example, coaching can help employees enhance their public speaking skills, or help an employee make and reach a particular goal, or advise them on making better choices regarding interactions with coworkers and customers. These types of individualized coaching opportunities aren’t hard to provide, and will go a long way towards making Millennials feel more understood and valued.

Collaboration is Key - Millennials want to share their ideas. They also crave supportive leaders who are willing to build relationships with them that go beyond formal KPI coaching sessions and annual performance reviews. Millennials are attracted to leaders who clearly articulate the WHY and HOW—Why a certain customer call type is handled in such a way, and how best to get work done every day. They are looking for mentors who will champion them, encourage them, inspire and motivate them—and challenge them on to greatness.

Master Tip: More Mentoring, Less Bossing - Millennials want a mentor—not a boss. In all aspects of their lives, Millennials engage with causes that help people, not institutions. The team and the mission, especially tied to a higher purpose, are far more compelling motivators than a message of “Do this for the company,” or “Work on the department goals.”

At Employwise, our compact, flexible, and intellectual offerings are expressed to make lifelong learning possible for all who commit to pursuing it.

Tags: Employee Engagement,