The world's demographic is changing rapidly. In fact, studies show that the Millennial generation is expected to outnumber baby boomers as early as next year!
This demographic shift has implications for employers across the globe. The Millennial generation ushers in a new wave of workplace expectations and demands. If business owners want to attract and retain top talent, they must be extremely responsive to these needs. If you're a business owner looking to boost morale with your team, consider these simple employee engagement tips:
Recognition is an extremely important component of any healthy work environment. A well planned employee recognition program can serve huge dividends. A recent poll found that 79 percent of Millennial employees reported feeling undervalued, and 42 percent of the surveyed group reported a desire to receive recognition on a weekly or daily basis. Additionally, the Millennial demographic expects recognition in real time. Recognition does not have to be grandiose. A quick shout-out in a meeting or a written note of gratitude can go a long way. Overall, the lesson is that recognition is simple and relatively low cost, but can have a huge impact on the engagement and morale of your team.
The Millennial generation has a need to grow professionally and feel connected to their work. This demographic recognizes and celebrates the unique skill set of each team member, and they want to be assigned work that aligns with their individual strengths and values. Additionally, the Millennial population wants to continually improve their performance and expand their skill set. For an employer, this means professional development should be built into the company culture. Managers should be trained to have career conversations with their employees, succession planning should always be on the table, and a budget line for professional development should be standard. In summary, professional development should be part of your overall organizational strategy if you hope to get the best work out of your Millennial employees.
Millennials have shunned the concept of a traditional corporate hierarchy. This up and coming group is more interested in being part of a community and a network. They want to be able to contribute their ideas and offer feedback without the bureaucracy of a top-down structure. As an organizational leader, you might consider ways you can engage this group. Surveys, focus groups, and direct asks from a manager are great ways to solicit feedback in a time sensitive way. Either way, offering opportunities for feedback is an extremely important aspect of a highly engaged Millennial team.
The Millennial group is much more technology-savvy than the previous generation. Millennials want and need to use technology in their work. They expect processes to be streamlined and digital and may experience frustration with antiquated technology or duplicated processes. Of course, technology comes with a cost and the purchase of newer technology also comes with a lengthy timeline. However, if you want to truly engage the Millennial group, you should consider an investment in consolidating and updating your tech offerings.
Millennials are also quite sensitive about work life balance issues and the ability to work at a time and pace that works best for them. In fact, Millennials rank balance as a top priority when searching for a job. Flexibility comes in many shapes and sizes. Common practices include flex hours, work from home options, and unlimited time off. These concepts can be fairly difficult for a more traditional workplace culture, but they are selling points for a Millennial recruit. Strong leaders will promote this flexibility, but will also have established rules of engagement. Accountability metrics are key for ensuring a flex culture is a success.
These simple strategies play a huge role in an organization's ability to attract and retain top talent from the Millennial pool. Each strategy requires a bit of planning and preparation, but the end result is well worth the time investment. With these simple tips you'll be well on your way to enhancing your organizational culture and getting the best out of each employee.