Tips to motivate the millennials at your workplace
A recent Gallup study involving more that 1 million respondents in the US found only 29% of millennials are engaged at work; the remaining 71% are either not engaged, or are what Gallup calls, ‘actively disengaged’. Only 50% plan to be with their present company one year from now. Gallup refers to this defining study as the “most robust and comprehensive study of the millennial generation.”
These findings wouldn’t be totally shocking to Indian HR professionals, who deal with many smartphone and Snapchat-obsessed millennials each day. The million-dollar question thus on everyone’s mind is: what drives these millennials – what makes them tick?
As the percentage of millennials making up the workforce steadily increases – we need to understand what motivates them and how we can enable them to give their best. This is especially relevant in a country like India which boasts of one of the youngest populations in the world.
So here’s a look at how organizations can crack the code and keep the millennials in their workplace engaged and driven at work, and also win their loyalties.
Provide freedom with responsibility: Millennials love their freedom as much as they love their smart devices. During work hours, this smartphone or tablet addiction may even hamper their productivity. To get them to focus on their work, our advice is to not restrict them – but to be liberal with your trust and creative freedom – and clear about deadlines and responsibilities.
Be creative in assigning responsibilities: Millennials love responsibility where they can show their leadership abilities. It’s a good thing to remember that they also love creative freedom and prize flexibility in their work schedules. So make them take over office parties, the daily ‘coffee-quiz’ and the fun Fridays. in addition to their work responsibilities. Not only will this excite them but they will also love the attention and importance they get.
Appreciate and encourage them: Millennials crave recognition; and managers should devote special attention to provide genuine feedback and appreciation. It works better when it is constructive. HR business partners can ask line managers to draft handwritten notes to thank their young colleagues for a job well done. Sending recognition mails marking senior members of the team if they met a deadline for a crucial project could also go a long way in motivating millennials.
Stand up for work-life balance and flexibility: Most millennials are acutely conscious of having a life outside office and do not like to mess up with their work-life balance. For them performing well and being a high-achiever at work is as important as spending time with friends, often pursuing a hobby or simply partying. They are blurring the divide between professional and personal life without compromising on either. Organizations can be mindful of the change this generation is bringing along at the workplace and create flexible work time policies.
Provide a rich professional experience to them: Millennials can be impulsive when it comes to job-hopping, but they also love to stay in a role that adds value and learning to their CVs. If you wish to retain them, consider providing a rich professional experience to them. It could be about entrusting them with execution of an important project, offering timely feedback, rewards and recognitions, creatively incentivizing them, providing a mentor to nurture their skills and talents, or promoting them out-of-turn on merit and performance. Any or all of these approaches will enhance their professional experience and build loyalty.
Millennials are an impetuous generation, with an inbuilt sense of entitlement and seeking quick gratification. However, they are also out of the box thinkers, very creative and talented; and can be extremely passionate about whatever they take up in life, and that includes a job in your organization. They live for themselves and want to make a difference. The workplace of the future must be open to bend a few rules and create a few new ones to keep the millennial motivated and engaged.
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