Personnel Today have identified 15 ways to 'keep millennials engaged'. But, in the end, it comes down to just one piece of advice.
Christine Henderson, our Learning and Development Manager, considers these top tips below.
The London Business School has done the research – Generation Y expect to move on from their employer quickly – 90% expect a move before five years, a third before two years.
So, what do you think of these top tips to keep Gen Y motivated and engaged while they are with you?
1. Keep them moving – use office space for collaboration, allow home working - don’t expect them to sit at their desks for the full working day
2. Tailored not off the shelf – development, reward and communication needs to take the individual into account. Sheep dip training won’t go down well – online options to learn on the go, to share experiences and try out skills in the field will work better. Don’t send out blanket messages, provide lots of information for a pick ‘n’ mix experience. And not a ‘one size fits all’ benefits scheme either, keep it flexible, keep it personal
3. Technicolour experience – the more opportunities the better. Secondments, assignments abroad, work shadowing other teams. They want to experience how the other half live
4. Instant access information – use technology to spread the word, share on various platforms, ensure the information’s available on the train, in bed…whenever, wherever they need it, not just in the office
5. Mentor – they’re ambitious but realise that they don’t know it all. Remember that a mentoring relationship cuts both ways and both parties can learn from each other
6. PR – information about an organization comes from peer review. It can make or break your recruitment campaign for top talent
7. Learning through experience – they have learned to learn and are thirsty for knowledge. Give them a problem they haven’t seen before and they’ll investigate the solutions – be it online or by referring to a colleague. Ensure that they have the resources (time, access and technology) to discover, reflect and learn for themselves.
8. Don’t give them the cold shoulder (part 1) – they are more prepared to tackle the elephant in the room than any other generation. If it’s not right, tell them and wait for them to ask ‘why?’ If it’s good, tell them and wait for them to ask ‘why?’
9. Don’t give them the cold shoulder (part 2) – elephant in the room: they’ll tell you whether your performance could be better too! And probably expect you to ask ‘why?’
10. Social responsibility – their employer might not be making a social contribution to the world but it must be socially responsible. Ensure that you shout about your activities
11. Speedy processes – don’t expect them to put up with delays. With a shorter attention span, they’ll probably be off doing something else if they have to wait
12. Family friendly / flexible working / work-life balance – whatever you call it, they need time to develop other areas of their life. Don’t hold them back – offer them sabbaticals, parental leave and other opportunities to learn about the world outside the office
13. Speedy communication – with social media on the train on the way into work, there is less reason to have those ‘how was your weekend?’ chats when they get into the office. Acknowledgement that there was a weekend might be enough. But see 15
14. Don’t let them think that you put up with poor performance – they expect feedback when performance isn’t good enough and they expect you to have conversations with and manage the performance of others
15. Ensure that you find out what your millennials want – ask the question and listen, properly, without expectation or interruption. And show that you have listened by responding with action or by explaining why something can’t be implemented.
The key is to understand what motivates them and consider how their needs can be integrated into the existing practices and perspectives of the workplace. And as they like playing a part in their own future, involving them in the integration will be motivation in itself.
So - does this chime with your experience of working with millennials, or have you had a different experience? Or, if you're a millennial yourself - do you agree that these things would keep you engaged, or are there other things you'd prioritise more highly?
Our Employment Partner, Richard Thomas runs regular workshops on “The Power of Generational Insight” – to book a workshop in your organisation or for more information please contact Christine Henderson.