7 Tips for Managing Millennials & Keeping Them Engaged
A recent Gallup study found that only 29% of employed millennials are engaged at work, with another 16% of millennials being actively disengaged.
This indifference millennials have towards their work has lead to job-hopping. It’s not so much that millennials want to leave their jobs, but their companies are not giving them compelling enough reasons to stay.
What can companies do to better manage their millennial employees, along with their Gen X and Baby Boomer employees, and keep them actively engaged?
7 Ways to Keep Millennials Engaged
1. Be flexible.
Millennials are the ultimate multi-taskers, and they are very tech-savvy. For these reasons, they expect flexibility in where and when they work. Millennials believe being tied to a desk from 9-5 is antiquated and unnecessary.
Technology has evolved, making it possible to get work done outside of the office, and at any hour. Offering some sort of schedule flexibility is essential to retaining and engaging your millennial employees.
2. Encourage development.
Millennials crave opportunity and get impatient with stagnation. Managers need to create opportunities for millennials to develop and broaden their skillset. Assigning different projects, exposing them to other areas of the business, and providing additional training are all excellent ways to keep millennials engaged in their work.
3. Provide regular feedback.
Believe me, millennials all over are rolling their eyes at your annual performance review process. After all, why would you wait an entire year to give feedback on performance? Millennials want frequent feedback from their managers. Not only does this increase their level of engagement, but it also improves their performance.
4. Foster a fun, employee-centric work environment.
Millennials want to be friends with their co-workers, so workplace culture is everything. Millennials expect companies to provide fun opportunities for them to get to know their co-workers outside of a professional setting. Happy hours, lunches, sporting events, etc. are all great ways to get your employees interacting and feeling more connected to the company.
5. Be open to ideas and change.
“That’s the way we’ve always done it.” <- There’s a sure-fire way to get your Millennials to jump ship. With an entrepreneur mindset, Millennials are creative thinkers and want to try new things. Managers need to be open and respectful of ideas. Furthermore, they need to try new ideas. Falling back on the way things have always been done is just lazy.
6. Communicate how their work contributes to the overall success of the company.
Millennials want to know their work matters and is contributing to company success. Simply giving millennials a project without explaining the “why” is not going to motivate them to do their best work. They need to understand how what they’re doing is playing into organizational goals.
7. Give back.
Millennials want to work for a company that shares similar values. However, it needs to be authentic. Charitable efforts should be incorporated into the company’s overall identity. A great, well-known example of this is General Mills’ Box Top for Education.
Overall, the expectations millennials have for their employers aren’t irrational, and there is certainly no shortage of technology out there to help companies better engage their employees. The competition for recruiting and retaining top talent is fierce – making it no better time but the present for companies to reevaluate their employee engagement programs.