According to the June US Census report, Millennials, (people born between 1982 and 2000) now claim one quarter of the nation’s population. As these 15 to 33 year olds come into their earning years, employers are learning just how different they are from the generations that came before them. The same old workplace culture doesn’t entice them, and retaining them can be challenging. If you don’t know what they value and how they like to work, you may find your office cycling through these GenY employees.
Here are five concrete steps you can take to shift your workplace culture and make your workplace more Millennial-friendly.
- Set Goals – Millennials like to feel they are contributing to something greater than themselves, that they can believe in. Work with them to come up with goals for their job. Make sure they understand how their specific role and their projects contribute to the company’s objectives.
- Engage Them – They are digital natives and very comfortable relating to a computer screen, so use online courses and technology to train them. Make sure in the online training that you reiterate the company’s mission and vision and relate it back to their job duties and projects.
- Value Them – At the sports tournaments they grew up with, everyone was acknowledged as important just for participating, so find ways to show them that they are valuable. For example, send an email thank you on a job well done, send them to training to show you are invested in them, acknowledge them in front of co-workers.
- Collaborate With Them – They want to have input on processes and not just be told what to do and how to do it. Next time you’re working on a big project with a Millennial, try asking them how they might use technology to better facilitate this project. Then ask them to walk you through step-by-step how the technology could be useful.
- Emphasize Camaraderie and Teamwork – They are the most community-minded generation since the 1940’s. Emphasize that the company’s success is dependent upon the internal community and the relationships of the people who work in it and telecommuting does not facilitate the kind of camaraderie and team work that the office needs.
It will take some time to build in these new behaviors and communication styles, but the effort will be well worth it. Not only will you have less employee turn over, you will have an “in” with the most well-educated, community-minded generation in history.