Neither is it rocket science nor is it as simple as putting two and two together… Engaging with millennials lies somewhere between the two, and finding the right balance can get quite tricky. The millennials, or Gen Y as they are otherwise called, are non-conformists. Their beliefs, values, work ethics, and communication styles are quite different from the previous generations. They keep switching jobs on a whim, try out unconventional jobs, switch professional fields out of the blue, and take sabbaticals from work to ‘find themselves’ if they are not happy with their work.
So, as an employer, you might have thought, “How do I effectively communicate, motivate, and engage with the millennial lot to retain them?” Haven’t you? Well, we’ll let you in on some tips and ideas that employers can try out to develop millennial employee engagement.
Recognize their talent and appreciate it
How: Surprise them with rewards for their effort and performance. Millennials like to know that they are valued. Use traditional methods like bonuses and monetary benefits. Gift them vacations. Or try something creative like loan repayment programs.
Benefits: Your employees will feel valued at the workplace, put in extra effort and aim for improving their skills further, which will ultimately result in your organization’s growth.
Provide them with work-life balance
How: Provide employees with flexible work hours and remote working options. Provide on-site child care and be generous with your maternity and paternity leaves. If they feel like you care for them, they will return the favour.
Benefits: Such small yet significant perks can result in increased productivity as it can help lower the stress levels of employees. Employees can fully concentrate on the task assigned, leaving other worries behind.
Give them a fun company culture to work in
How: Have open conversations with your employees, gather their feedback, and take suitable actions based on them. Take simple steps such as saying goodbye to dress codes, getting rid of cubicles (you can read the history of cubicles here!), having standing desks, or creating alternative seating arrangements. Even allocating a few hours for fun activities can show employees how to destress in the midst of all the serious work.
Benefits: A fun and open environment help you get rid of unhealthy outcomes such as gossip, cliques, and politics at your workplace. This leads to the growth of the individual as well as the organization as employees will be more supportive of each other instead of bringing each other down.
Bring out the leader in them
How: Conduct activities at your workplace or at offsite programs that develop or bring out leadership qualities. Employers can organize outdoor team activities or have employees engaged in indoor or board games that are fun, yet rely on team-effort and decision making. But you must always, and constantly challenge them. Boredom, perception of stagnation and inability to grow are some of the main reasons why the younger gen looks to quit jobs.
Benefits: Such activities help inculcate and develop leadership skills and challenge youngsters, thus promoting team bonding. You make sure that your employees are future leaders instead of bosses.
Help them give up their social media addiction
How: Millennials are addicted to technology, especially their mobile phones. They are aware of the drawbacks of digital addiction, yet can’t seem to let go of it. Employers can have a no mobile phone policy in certain zones in the workplace. Alternatively, you can restrict their usage at the workplace, like during meetings or critical work-related discussions.
Benefits: A great millennial employee engagement idea is to get rid of mobile devices helps, and improve bonds with colleagues. Your employees will talk to each other instead of mindlessly scrolling the internet. This will help in team bonding and enhance communication amongst employees.
Like it or not, millennials are here, and with a bang. They represent about half of the working population in India. It’s time employees adapted and improvised their workplace practices to fit the millennial culture. What we listed were just a few practices that employers can implement to engage with the millennial workforce.
You can see more ideas to engage employees here!