6 Ways to Engage Your Millennial Employees

Categories: Advice for HR Professionals, Advice for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs, Other


In 2015, millennials became the largest generation in the workforce. It is also predicted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics that by 2030, this generation will make up 75% of all employees. However, research suggests that while millennials are hyper-connected to their gadgets and the internet, they are also highly disengaged at work.

While all workers aren’t particularly engaged in their jobs, a Gallup study reported that millennials lead all generations in the workforce with over 70% of them are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Worse, analysis from Harvard Business Review (HBR) revealed that almost half of actively disengaged millennials strongly agreed that they would switch jobs if options are available in the next 12 months.

If you’re a CEO of a small business, an HR manager at a recruitment firm, or anyone who manages employees, here are six strategies to engage millennials at work.

Establish Expectations

A millennial employee wants to hear the job role and responsibilities, the growth possibilities and an estimated timeline, as well as the expectations that will be given to them.

Contrary to popular belief, millennials don’t need beer pong tables and video games at work. They simply want to know what they can expect concerning their role, work-life balance, and that the organization they work with does its best to meet that expectation.

Give Them Feedback

Millennials are the generation who have received adult feedback growing up. They thrive on constructive criticism. They want to know if they did a good job, and medals just won’t work for them.

They prefer to be recognized for their work, even informally. If the feedback is negative, millennials expect it to be more insightful—they want guidance as to how exactly they can improve.

Allow Flexibility

As the workplace environment rapidly changes with technology, the tech-savvy millennial generation expects certain levels of work flexibility which they know is possible with their role and responsibilities.

A study from the business school of the University of North Carolina (UNC) found that millennials sought flexibility in terms of telecommuting or work scheduling options, communication, and professional development.

Create an organizational structure and culture that is flexible and relaxed as it keeps your millennial employees engaged.

Provide Reliable Technology

Touted as digital natives, millennials depend on technology in almost every part of their lives. As the first generation to experience a wireless, connected world, they want technologies that not only empowers their personal lives but also drive their productivity in the workplace.

As such, millennial employees need reliable devices, messaging platforms, task management apps, time tracking software, and more to perform their job well.

Additionally, millennials want not just the gadget or software, but also a way to customize it. In fact, almost one in three millennials like customizing applications so that the features most relevant to them are displayed.

Respect Their Personality and Characteristics

Companies should focus on understanding their millennial employees’ personalities. From what stimulates them to what worries them the most, millennials need to know if and how involved their organization is with them.

It’s also important to consider whether particular employees are introverted or extroverted. While extroverted millennials will shine during meetings and doing group tasks, introverted ones may need some time to work without constant interruption and maybe the flexibility to get away from their desks.

Give Them Opportunities for Growth

Learning and growth are important for Generation Y. In the workplace, millennials see their role as an opportunity to grow. They are more likely to stay with their employer if they feel that there are opportunities for professional development,

Show interest and be involved in their career growth. millennials want a manager who will invest in their progress. They are willing to contribute as much as they can, but they need to know that they are supported for growth.

If your company, corporation or recruitment firm wants to do a better job at retaining millennials, it’s important to understand what motivates them, what doesn’t, and the delicate balance between the two.

There might be some differences, but millennials want to do the same things as other generations: they want to know what’s expected of them, the opportunities for growth and development, and a job that’s well-suited to their skills and interests.

The presence of these attributes in any company will make the millennial employee not only engaged but also kept from pursuing job opportunities elsewhere.



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