Gone are the days when faithful employees worked the same job for years, held to their role by a sense of loyalty.
Today, Millennials represent 34 percent of the workforce, and their average job tenure for the youngest of them (between ages 20–24) is less than 16 months. Clearly, younger workers are not afraid to seek out new opportunities when they grow tired of current pursuits. They tend to place a high value on personal goals, relationships and experiences, and like to feel involved and informed about all aspects of their employer organisation.
Some companies throw up their hands in despair at the thought of trying to retain this new generation of workers. But in spite of their quirks (or perhaps because of them), millennials bring valuable qualities to the table. Given the right tools and information, they can become your brightest, savviest, and most loyal workers. So, how do you achieve good results with millennials?
To truly engage the minds and hearts of workers, companies need to widen the focus beyond providing necessary benefits such as health insurance and paid sick days. While workers value these perks, they’re often not enough to inspire whole-hearted engagement.
According to leadership consultant and speaker Mark C. Crowley, employees need to feel a range of positive emotions at work—inspiration, appreciation, care, and even love, to become truly engaged.
Here are five ways to show employees you care, and boost their level of engagement.
- Share the vision.
Invite Employees to Share your Vision. Getting a workforce on board with the company’s mission is crucial to building a deeper level of engagement. Company leaders must communicate a clear vision and make sure employees understand the organisation’s goals, values, and philosophy. If you put all these variables together, you can really achieve your goals.
- Keep them informed
It’s important to keep employees informed about what’s going on with your organisation, whether it’s good news or bad. For millennials, especially, keeping them in the know is a driving factor for keeping them engaged in their work. Engaged employees take ownership and feel like they are part of the team. Your managers should also want to hear the truth from their employees, even if it’s not flattering. Foster an open environment where employees feel that they have a real voice and listen even harder when they point out areas of improvement for the company.
- Communicate Feedback
While keeping employees in the know about what’s going on at the big-picture level, it’s also important to communicate clear, constructive feedback about the work they’re doing. The more specific and direct the feedback, the more your millennials like it. To meet Millennials expectations of wanting feedback more frequently, the annual review should be supplemented by quarterly and monthly reviews and even on-the-spot feedback. Utilising an engagement platform will really help here, as it will help deliver real time information to staff and managers.
- Increase Job Flexibility
According to a study by consulting and accounting firm Ernst & Young, 33% of full-time employees globally say it has gotten more difficult to manage work/family demands in the last five years. Many employees, especially millennials, are on the lookout for jobs that will allow them the flexibility they need to travel, spend time with family and friends, and pursue hobbies, interests, and causes outside their workplace. Bottom line? Millennials don’t like to be owned by their jobs. Dutch healthcare and consumer products giant Philips NV has introduced opportunities for employees to travel abroad for a few months at a time, giving them the chance to develop international business and leadership skills. Offering paid travel opportunities linked to their work is a great way to keep millennials engaged, and so is offering flexibility in office dress codes.
- Offer Wellness Programs
From yoga classes to financial counseling, wellness programs are a growing trend for many organisations, and another step on the path to employee engagement. By offering onsite classes, you’re also encouraging employees to socialise and bond with each other, another key element to retaining younger workers. Financial wellness programs can also help lift the burden of money-related stress carried by many workers. For example, global consulting and accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has begun a program intended to help employees pay down their student loans.
Implementing initiatives such as these in place will go a long way to engaging your Millennials, but whatever you do, think carefully about what you are trying to achieve.
Brownie Points is rapidly becoming a platform of choice for organisations wanting to motivate and engage their workers. With a cloud based platform designed to recognise positive behaviour, Brownie Points is proven to improve employee engagement.
To learn how we could help your business, call the team on 03 9909 7411 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a no obligation discussion and demonstration