Feedback and flexibility the key to millennial workplace engagement

By 2025, its estimated that 75% of the global workforce will be made up of Millennials. If you’re not already working and competing alongside Millennials, you soon will be shoulder to shoulder with a generation who is often perceived as lazy, impatient and disloyal.

While they’ve copped a bad rap, Millennials are the most educated and culturally diverse generation, and many of them have large aspirations. With smart, career-driven minds entering the workforce, it’s crucial for your businesses success that you can keep this generation engaged and motivated.

Give regular feedback and encouragement

Millennials are a group that thrives on recognition and encouragement. Immediate feedback promotes their motivation to continue producing results. While this leads older generations to believe they are needy, entitled or self-absorbed, a clear open line of communication is highly valued by young adults.

The best part is it’s free and easy. Let them know quality is rewarded, thank them for their great work, and when they’re not performing as well as they should be let them know how they can improve.

Allow flexibility

Work/life balance is highly valued and is one of the first things Millennials look for when searching for a job. Flexible schedules are one of the top things that will help keep Millennial employees engaged. In a world where they are constantly connected, they feel they can work anytime, anywhere, provided they have an internet connection. It’s hard for them to see the point of working eight hours a day from a cubicle.

Flexibility can be provided in a number of ways, but it does have to be approached with some care. Allow Millennials to work from home, take occasional personal days or provide a schedule that fits their needs, but ensure that their performance remains consistent and goals are met. Trust must go both ways.

Create steps and titles for progression

Millennials are a generation who are keen to progress through their career and they don’t like waiting. If they feel they can attain a higher position at a new company, they will gladly take it on.

Traditionally promotions only come about every few years, but if you can develop in-between steps that millennials can consistently reach, you will have a much higher chance of meeting their needs.

Provide professional development opportunities

To satisfy this desire for career progression, Millennials actively seek out opportunities for extra training and professional development. If you can provide a way for them to advance professionally, you will have much more engaged and motivated Millennials. Offer relevant courses that can be completed online, bring in industry speakers and allow them to attend events.

Don’t give out meaningless rewards and perks. This will do nothing for motivation. Instead, offer smaller incentives to reward good work.

Make sure they believe in the company vision

This should be done during the recruitment process, but failing that it can be done at any stage. Millennials are a group who want to work for a greater cause; they want to have an impact and will look for meaning within their work.

Explain your company’s vision, goals and values and help your employees see how they fit into the bigger picture. If Millennials understand what you are working towards, they can connect their work to the meaning, and in turn become more invested in the company and more motivated to perform well.

Promote community service

Social consciousness takes high priority for Millennials. They’re focused on making a change and helping those in need. If you can, give Millennials resources to form committees to run charity events or contribute to a cause they care about.

In order for your workforce to care about your company, you must show you respect the things that they themselves care about.

Millennials are a generation who value professional development, acknowledgement and flexibility. If you can provide these things, while helping them see your company’s vision and values, you have a good chance of keeping these young and talented workers engaged and motivated.

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Laura Martins
Laura Martins is a content manager for RateCity, where you can make smarter financial decisions and compare thousands of financial options. In her time away from RateCity, Laura loves reading about tech and spending time with her dogs.

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