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5 ways to engage the Millennial Workforce

One of the most pressing talent issues, organizations are facing today is the retention of top talent. It has become increasingly challenging to hold on to your best performers in an evolving workplace. Given the increasing number of millennials in the workforce, it becomes critical to understand the Millennial Mindset.

As employees, millennials have been called spoiled and entitled. Most have been raised to never experience failure. Some are even described as selfish with absurdly high expectations and constantly living in the moment, in search of instant gratification.

Despite all this, they need more than money to stay motivated. They need to feel the impact of their contributions. I have my own personal experiences, training extremely talented employees who could not understand their own significance or purpose in a project. An organization will thrive when it builds a foundation around these passionate individuals.

The term “resource” has become so overused that it has lost its value. In fact, it is not uncommon to see project managers asking for “bodies” to be thrown into a project. A Millennial doesn’t just want to be another “resource” or a “body”. They want to be valuable contributors working towards a shared goal with the organization. So here are five ways to engage and motivate your millennial workforce:

  1. Mentors — Millennials prefer to be mentored rather than managed. They seek feedback and need advice. This also helps build trust and shows that they are valuable members of a team.
  2. Purpose — Knowing what they do is important, but know why they do it is even more imperative to millennials.
  3. Learning and Development — They respond positively to opportunities for both personal and professional development. They expect results and look to acquire a diverse skillset to accomplish this.
  4. Flexibility — Clocked working hours and stagnant locations are thing of the past. Telecommuting is slowly being more widely accepted in many companies and is a great option to provide flexibility.
  5. Responsibility — They love a sense of ownership. Taking on big challenges motivate them to be more productive. Fluffy titles are meaningless without substance.

5 Ways to engage your millennial workforce


How to understand the Millennial Mindset

At almost every HR conference that I attend, one of the most pressing talent issues that are discussed is the retention of top talent, specifically in the millennial workforce. As a greater proportion of the workforce is replaced by millennials, it becomes crucial to understand their mindset, in order to solve this problem.

Growing up in a digital world, Millennials have been, for the most part, always connected. This is a major factor in understanding their mindset. Many have been using electronic gadgets since a young age. This has led to the development of certain attitudes and lifestyles:

  1. Connected all the time – Computers, cell phones and other gadgets are perfectly normal, necessary parts of life, not just technologies or privileges. They are part of being connected.
  2. Purpose – For the average millennial, information is constantly evolving and the things they do become more significant than what they know.
  3. Trial and Error – The Trial and Error method is perfectly acceptable to find both passions and careers.
  4. Multitasking – Multitasking is embedded in everyday life. They can text, surf the internet and listen to music while creating a report.
  5. Sense of Urgency – Delays are not tolerated. The immediacy of the Internet through e-mails, social media and instant messaging has made the Millennials impatient, with short attention spans.

As an employer, understanding why Millennials act the way they do becomes key to motivating them. To develop action plans around engagement and motivation, take a look at strategies to engage and motivate your millennial workforce.

Compared to the work culture of previous generations, there is a clear difference that is leading to cultural revolutions at the workplace. There are still business managers out there who resist these changes and fail to see the cultural evolutions created by millennials as positive. We need to embrace this in order to prepare the millennials, the future leaders of the workforce.

Millennial Mindset - Infographic


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