Motivating millennials or Generation Y is not hard. Want to become the master of managing Generation Y? Apply these ten proven tactics and motivating millennials will be a breeze!
Some of the best ideas come from very young people. Their ingenuity and lack of attachment to how things have always been done (and to what egos might get hurt if things change) put them in a perfect position to create freely. The problem is that some of us are so unaccustomed to accepting ideas from people who aren’t the “right age” that we miss out on many brilliant ideas. Which is why the first step towards motivating millennials in the workplace is to listen to them. Discover what their interests are and find ways to support them. Repeat. Sounds pretty simple, but for some reason just a handful of companies are doing this well. As a result, many continue to see high levels of employee turnover.
Motivating millennials and What to Do with What they Bring to the Table
It’s the multiple screen generation. The text-while-doing-homework-while-watching-a-documentary-while-creating-a-Vine-video generation. You think you can keep them engaged at work with a 9:00-5:00 job? Think again.
10 Successful Tactics for Motivating Millennials in the workplace
- Manage by Objectives. They are used to the flexibility that hand-held devices and the ubiquitousness of Internet connections afford them. They find it lame to work at a fixed location for a fixed number of hours. Provide as much work flexibility as possible. Motivate Millennials by measuring their success by their ability to reach goals, finalize projects and fulfill deadlines rather than by the hours they spend in the office.
- Leverage their ability to connect with the world. They are smart people used to interacting with people around the world via gaming and social media. Tap into this natural tendency to interact with others across cultures and national borders to create a more inclusive work environment. Assign them to multinational projects; include them in Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.
- Get them involved. They usually have very involved parents with whom they tend to converse as equals. Give them a seat at the table and raise your expectations. Invite them to share their opinions openly and make sure to respect them.
- Set up high expectations for them. If your goal is motivating millennials, remember that they grew up with the world at their fingertips. Literally. There’s nothing they don’t know because they can Google anything! And if that occasionally makes for pretty arrogant people, it also makes for very resourceful employees. Present them with challenges, with things they don’t know how to do and invite them to explore the solution on their own.
- Establish a clear objective and milestones along the way. They grew up with close supervision. Their helicopter parents always made sure their kids were on the right track. So you’ll need to establish clear goals and touch points when they can check progress with you or someone else.
- Convey a sense of long term interest in their career growth. They entered the job market at a time of great turmoil and insecurity, which tends to make them a bit less loyal towards their employers. So, if you’re interested in motivating millennials or Generation Y to stay in your organization, you’ll have to be invested in their future opportunities, or they’ll be looking elsewhere.
Other Helpful Resources – For More Motivating Millennials Tips
- Gen Y in the Workplace: Leveraging Its Tech-Savvy
- Managing Generation Y in the Workplace: How Can Managers Motivate Their Employees?
- Generation Y in the Workplace – Understanding Millennials
- Offer them chances to be in the spotlight. Motivating millennials is about letting them shine: They are the selfie generation. It’s not just about taking pictures of themselves everywhere even when completely inappropriate. It’s about doing what makes them feel good, what makes them happy. (Something we could all learn from them!) Offer them opportunities such as presenting in public, organizing a big event, doing media appearances. You get the picture.
- Partner them with peers with multicultural backgrounds. Part of motivating millennials involves realizing it’s a very diverse generation. Those raised by helicopter parents may have never developed certain resourcefulness and the tools needed to compete in the marketplace. Partner them with millennials with diverse backgrounds, particularly immigrants and children of immigrants, who tend to be more entrepreneurial and have a can-do attitude.
- Involve them with your Corporate Social Responsibility programs. Their access to the world has sensitized them to how hard life can be for those less fortunate. They have an inclination to support social causes and an interest in sustainability and the environment. Ask for their input on how to reduce your organization’s environmental footprint and on how to improve your brand’s image in the communities they live in.
- Let them feel they have options and that they have control of their careers. They grew up in times of major societal changes. They want to find a better work life integration. Give them the freedom to do it.
Like every new generation that enters (and disrupts) the workplace, Generation Y has a bad rep. But the truth is that they are a vibrant, diverse, creative group of people with a social conscience. They are going to be responsible for saving the Planet we are putting in their hands.
Motivating millennials or Gen Y is not more complicated than it’s been to motivate generations past. It’s about understanding them and taking advantage of what they bring to the table rather than struggling to make them fit the mold they find when they walk through your door.