Worthless. Entitled. Selfish. Lazy. Who comes to mind when you think of these characteristics? It may be your next manager. According to research by Time, by 2025, 3 out of every 4 workers globally will be millennials. While it’s true that the majority of employees born after 1994 are constantly looking for their next thrill, and an average company tenure sitting at 2 years, don’t discount their passion and potentially powerful ambition to prove their elders wrong and climb the ladder quickly.
So, if we know that the world’s largest workforce are (for the most part) powerful and passionate, what can companies do to grow this next generation?
The millennial generation, more than any other, is propelled by purpose. A whopping 81% of surveyed millennials (those born between 1980 and 1996) said a successful business needs to have a genuine purpose and 78% said the values of their employer should match their own. Does your company have a mission statement or set of core values that your employees feel confident about? While it may take extra effort to set up these guidelines, it will pay dividends in the satisfaction and work ethic of your mission-driven millennials.
Have you considered how your company can make a difference besides just making a paycheck? Sponsoring a family during the holidays, offering a few hours per year of volunteer paid time off or organizing a quarterly community service outing for the entire office are great ways to ensure your team is feeling fulfilled both inside and outside of the office.
As the first generation to grow up in the era of the laptop, mobile smartphone, social media boom and more, millennials are pre-programmed to adapt to new technologies and systems. Give your employees new problems to solve within your company, sales targets to hit or outdated systems to refresh. Trust them to take the lead on a new initiative and most importantly, listen to and consider their ideas. With their incredible “can-do” attitudes and trailblazing spirit, millennials will figure out the best way to get results without being micromanaged along the way.
As the children that were never denied trophies growing up, millennials are fueled by the praise of others. In fact Gallup research has proven that millennial workers are more engaged than non-millennials when their managers provide frequent and consistent communication and feedback. This doesn’t (and shouldn’t) look like a quarterly or annual review. Make praise an integral part of your company by enacting a kudos board, creating a competition for who can give the most praise to their colleagues or simply making it a habit to say “thank you” early and often for accomplishments big and small.