In case you’ve been living under a rock, it’s not news that the Millennial Generation have a huge impact on the workforce.
Already accounting for 50% (due to increase to 75% by 2025), Millennials are here to stay. And unless your company is willing to challenge their thinking and meet the needs of the demographic majority, chances are, you and your company will be left behind.
So what can you do to create a company that accommodates and encourages Millennial growth?
Mentors often provide knowledge and skills to help facilitate success in all areas of life, especially in the professional arena.
A study done by the British Academy of Management on the link between mentoring and company retention suggests that mentoring programs for the Millennial Generation are needed.
Mentoring can widely improve retention among the Millennial Generation, who are eager to learn from their peers and improve their soft skills, such as communication and interaction with others.
Millennials want to be challenged, and want to push boundaries – so it’s important they’re shown how to do this in a constructive way. Without good mentor-ship, Millennials will instead challenge and push your boundaries, in an effort to be heard.
If you want loyal employees, skip the freebies and ‘perks’, and focus on good company culture.
The Millennial Generation is motivated by company culture. According to ProSky, a performance-based hiring company, 33% of Millennials research the company they apply for before they apply for a job.
Your culture is your company’s ‘DNA’ so to speak, so it’s important to be forward thinking when it comes to Millennials.
If your workplace isn’t a purpose-driven, transparent environment, where people feel connected and encouraged, chances are, your employees aren’t going to want to stick around. Company loyalty isn’t kept with catered lunches and fake smiles – it’s kept with honesty, integrity and room for people to grow.
Forget annual performance reviews – The Harvard Business Review, among countless other studies, suggest that Millennials want a constant stream of feedback – fueled by their need for success.
Continuous feedback equals continuous improvement and allows for positive growth within the company.
The Millennial Generation is in constant search of the next challenge and feedback allows them to refine their goals.
Rather than compartmentalizing different aspects of their lives, the Millennial Generation view work as a key part of life. It is for this reason that creates a need for Millennials to feel fulfilled in their chosen workplace.
Although it may seem that Millennials have a high expectation of what work should be, this is also paired with high expectations of themselves. They crave feedback in order to grow professionally and as individuals.
If people feel like they’re being invested in, they’re more likely to be a positively engaged employee.
Everyone likes a little recognition when they do something for someone else – and Millennials are no different. With the rise of instant gratification through social media and internet platforms, recognition has become a huge deal to Millennials.
Luckily for the company, it costs absolutely nothing to let your employees know they’re doing a good job.
An article in Forbes Magazine, however, noted that only 39% of Millennials said their boss does a good job at recognizing and acknowledging their accomplishments. That’s a lot of people who don’t know whether they’re under or over-performing.
Surprisingly, their are still bosses who aren’t ‘into’ positive reinforcement. But positive reinforcement isn’t just about giving someone a pat on the back – it’s an excellent teaching tool, backed by the psychological principle that reinforces good behaviour, making it more likely that the behaviour will reoccur.
This may come as a shock, but life is a little more fast-paced now than it used to be. People are working more than ever, the cost of living has increased, we have a ‘FOMO’ Complex (fear of missing out) and we jam so much into our lives we have to schedule specific time off just to relax.
But as we looked at before, the Millennial Generation also doesn’t see work as ‘separate’ from other aspects of their lives. They also don’t think that productivity should necessarily be measured by the number of hours in the office.
These days, with the rise of technology, many people can do the same thing they do in the office, from home, the gym or directly from their mobile phone.
Which begs the question – is it so wrong to want more flexibility from our workplaces? Is the 9-5 structure outdated or even obsolete? Millennials want to work – but need more stability than the average casual employment opportunity.
As the times change, companies need to adapt in order to continue company growth and maintain employee loyalty. There are plenty of companies who are doing their research and starting to move away from the 9-5 grind:
Apple have ‘At Home Advisors’ now, Starbucks have a ‘College Achievement Plan’ for employees who work more than 20 hours a week – providing the opportunity to complete a degree with full tuition – and Upwork, an online freelance marketplace, has ‘Work Online Wednesdays’.
There are plenty of ways to become more flexible as a workplace – it’s just a matter of finding creative, new solutions to stale, old problems. Millennials want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and they gain a bad rap by being stereotyped as lazy and unmotivated, which is far from the truth.
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