Motivating Millennials: Attracting and Retaining the Largest Generation in the Workforce

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by viperk's , last updated on

attract-millennials.jpgThey're diverse, technologically advanced and highly educated. In fact, you might be one   yourself.

Whether you call them Generation Y, Generation We or The Generation of Entitlement, millennials (adults ages 18 to 35 this year) account for the largest share of the American workforce — more than 1 in 3 American workers today are millennials — making them vital to your company's long-term success.

Now, more than ever, the competition to keep these employees happy is tight. According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2016, "Forty-four percent of millennials say, if given the choice, they would like to leave their current employers in the next two years."

The good new is: you don’t have to rewrite the rules on benefits to appeal to millennials. All it takes are some unique insights into their needs — and some standout (and easy-to-implement) programs that can set your company apart.

Know What Motivates Them

It pays to understand what your employees value, and that’s especially true with millennials. A resounding theme among millennials is a desire to make a difference working for an employer with values that are similar to theirs. They want constant feedback, favor mentors to bosses, and are looking to learn, grow and advance.

Here are some quick and easy ways to deliver what millennials want:

  • Don't micromange. Give them trust and autonomy.
  • Evaluate often. Provide constructive criticism while encouraging and empowering them.
  • Have a clear vision. Make a good culture a priority and give employees a clear sense of purpose.
  • Encourage community service. Give associates time and/or resources to devote to their favorite causes.
  • Be flexible. Offer flexibility with day-to-day schedules and time off, and give unique benefits to help save time, such as onsite fitness and wellness programs or concierge services.

Team Up

Millennials crave creative freedom, and one way they achieve this is through collaborative teambuilding. They’re at their best when working in groups, and — more than other generations — they recognize the importance of consensus building.

This is good news when it comes to creating an environment where everyone works together and supports each other. The more you encourage teambuilding and incorporate it into the course of business, the more empowered and productive millennials will feel. Plus, blending various skills and expertises will allow you to solve more demanding and laborious projects in new and unique ways. It  also lets creativity to flourish — another hot-button issue with millennials.

Incentivize and Reward

Millennials often get a bad rap for jumping from job to job. In reality, millennials usually don't leave a job because they're fickle or entitled; they leave because they feel that their employers aren't loyal to them. When you recognize and reward millennials (and all employees for that matter) for their loyalty and continued service, you help build this affinity.

One good way to do this is through employee referrals. Chances are, your millennial employees have a friend (or two) who is looking for a job and has the skills you need. If a millennial can work with people they already know and respect and get an employee referral bonus or reward, you're giving them double incentive to stay.

Rewards and incentives also don’t need to be tied to a specific event. They can range from the more obvious — extra paid time off for quality work, cash bonuses for goals met, preferred parking for loyalty, etc. — to the not-so-obvious, like once-in-a-lifetime vacations or employee-only, discount-shopping platforms.

At the end of the day, we’ve found that empowerment, advancement and recognition are the best ways to turn your star rookies into seasoned vets. Want to learn more about how you can help your employees be happier and more productive? We're here to talk.



Topics: Culture

blog author

Eric Golubitsky

Eric brings 18+ years of entrepreneurial experience. Eric founded S.M.I.L.E. Inc. in 1998, which was a Consumer Electronic Pro Top 100 home automation provider and was recognized as the #1 fastest growing company in NE Ohio by CWRU Weatherhead School of Management in 2003. As an Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" finalist in 2005, Eric's accomplishments have been recognized multiple times including the Consumer Electronics Association's national "Mark of Excellence Award." Eric is also a 5 year member of EO (Entrepreneurs Organization).