Millennials. Millennials. Millennials.
You're probably tired of all the talk regarding this generation. The thing is, they kind of deserve our attention.
They're not only the largest age demographic, they're starting to come into their own and they're disrupting numerous industries. It's been estimated that 46 percent of employees in the workplace will be Millennials, with a majority (57 percent) believing they will leave their current businesses before year-end 2020.
Simply put, you're going to have to change your businesses and management approach if you want to attract and retain workers within this generation.
The best place to start is by knowing what motivates Millennials workers.
Offer flexibility and personal time.
In this age of technology, employees are no longer limited to the 9-to-5 workday, or regulated to their office desk. In fact, because of this, work/life balance has never been more popular.
According to the study linked above by Deloitte, when choosing a job, the number one priority for Millennials is one that offers a good work/life balance. That means that the companies that offer flexible schedules will have a better chance at snagging and retaining top Millennial talent.
For example, you could allow them to work on projects from home whenever possible or hours that are are better suited to their lifestyle or productivity. Thanks to mobile devices, they can essentially work whenever and wherever they prefer.
Additionally, give them some personal time throughout the day so that they can work on personal projects, attend training sessions, volunteer, or just have a couple minutes of downtime.
Bonus tip: Not all Millennials want to work from a remote location. Some would rather come into the workplace at 10am, and stay until after 6pm.
Get to know your employees so that you know they're ideal schedules and how they want to spend personal time when on the clock.
Provide frequent feedback.
On the outside it may appear that Millennials may crave freedom. The fact of the matter is that they still demand to know how they're performing and want to be accountable.
According to a report by the University of North Carolina, regular, honest, and constructive feedback will help make these employees feel fulfilled at their job.
In the past, leaders this was done every six months with performance reviews. Millennials may want something more often, but the good news is that it doesn't have to formal.
You can simply pop-by their workplace to offer some encouragement or shot them a quick email with a couple of pointers.
You can also implement an "open door policy" where Millennials are free to come-in and ask questions.
Create new titles and in-between steps.
Despite the misconceptions, Millennials aren't lazy or slackers. They're committed to furthering their careers and don't want to wait any more than three years for a promotion. Same goes for a title change. They need to "prove" to their friends and share their new status online.
This doesn't mean that you should give more rewards without a reason, it means that you should consider incentives. Produce incentive like a bonus or paying for them to attend a training course. This gives them assurance that they're on the right track.
Encourage multiple ways to collaborate.
Don't forget; This generation loves their devices. It makes sense. They grew up with technology at their fingertips and they have no qualms with harnessing its power if it makes them more productive.
If you haven't already, incorporate new ways to collaborate with your team that takes advantage of technology.
Additionally, don't hesitate to host roundtable discussions where you encourage innovative thinking.
Offer office perks.
Just because you don't have the budget of tech-titans like Google doesn't mean that you can't offer office perks.
For instance, you could create Zen spaces where employees can decompress in peace. Encourage them to take breaks in a room that has a couple of plants, better lighting, a nice coffee machine.
Find that something that your employees would enjoy. You could also have weekly pizza parties when a goal has been met or allow them to bring-in their dogs.
Cut the bullshit.
"Millennials have a very low tolerance for inauthenticity. They value colleagues that treat each other with respect. They gravitate towards supervisors who are relatable and accessible," writes Peter Gasca in Entrepreneur.
Jenny Gottstein, director of games at The Go Game and a millennial herself, tells Gasca that it's simple to define bullshit.
"If you are going to reference pop culture in order to relate to your millennial employees, just make sure you actually know what you are talking about. "If you are simply out of touch with millennial culture, embrace that and just be yourself. Never try too hard to impress people. Just remember: Most millennials would rather work with Dwight Schrute than Michael Scott (there is no shame in having to look up that reference)."
Answer the "why" and help them connect to the business.
"There was a time when employees didn't question a manager's directives or decisions," writes Jacqueline Whitmore, an etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Palm Beach.
"Millennials, on the other hand, are sure to ask 'why' before getting to work. Be prepared to share why you are asking them to do something, or why the company has made a specific decision. Better yet, include them in the decision-making process. Their ideas may lead to a bright new option or outlook."
Furthermore, explain your mission and values and how they connect your employees work. Why? It makes them feel fulfilled and shows them how they're making a difference. A great mission ignites a Millennial's passion and make them perform at a much higher level.
Prioritize giving back.
Again, Millennials want to do work that makes a difference. And, they want to be a part of an organization that gives back to the community. It's been found that Millennials who felt their employers made a positive impact on the world were:
One of the best ways to give back is to find a nonprofit that your team is passionate about and allowing employees to volunteer during working hours.
Your employees are still getting paid and they're literally making a difference in the community. It's a win-win.
Create a culture that embraces fun.
"Creating an organizational culture that is flexible and relaxed, has open communication, encourages sharing and innovation and offers flexibility is a good step to keeping Millennials engaged," states the UNC study. "Millennials want fun and a less formal atmosphere may help foster it."
Want to make your workplace cool? Start by: