Young people, or ‘millennials’, certainly get something of a bad rep in the media, especially when it comes to their performance in the workplace. Smartphone-obsessed, unmotivated and ambitious, but unwilling to put the effort in – this simply isn’t a fair way to portray an entire generation.
In less than a decade, millennials will make up 50% to 75% of the entire workforce, but here’s how you can make the most of their unique skillset right now.
1. Business culture
Many millennials value where they work, and what the business represents, just as much as the money they bank at the end of the month. According to Deloitte two out of three say that the ‘purpose’ of their organisation is a key reason they choose to work there.
Empower your younger employees by listening to the philosophies and ethea that inspire them, and instilling these progressive values in your business. Give your younger employees something to talk about at the end of the day, and look forward to being a part of every morning.
2. Trust in potential
Avoid micromanagement, and don’t feel that you need to relentlessly repeat procedures and protocols until they sink in. Younger employees will certainly want to get their work right, but won’t enjoy being drilled into submission.
Listen to their ideas, encourage discussion, and allow problem-solving to stimulate learning as much as possible. Provide these workers with constructive feedback when required, incentivise them with realistic goals and targets to aspire to – and adapt them creatively, as opposed to scrupulously.
3. Chances for growth
It’s true that millennials tend to remain in the same job for shorter periods than previous generations. However, it’s also established that almost 90% of them desire professional development opportunities in their work.
If you want your younger employees to remain with your business, you need to give them a reason to stay put. As they’ve entered the workforce with a wonderfully adaptable technological skillset, they will look to apply themselves elsewhere if they have no opportunity to develop further.
4. Make them mobile
Younger employees and modern technology go hand-in-hand (or, more realistically, device-in-hand). Many businesses, however, are still asking the question: how are millennials and mobility transforming the workplace, exactly?
There’s no need to hang around trying to find the answer to this, because it’s fact. Modern businesses need to acknowledge that younger employees and mobile technology are their future. Work out which processes or roles can be worked remotely, at least part-time, and give your younger employees the opportunity to make it work.
5. Stimulate creativity
Which interests, skills and qualifications do your younger employees have that aren’t being utilised? If you don’t know – find out. Learning what your employees are interested in, what they do in their spare time and how they go about fulfilling these areas of their life could be essential in not only retaining these workers but encouraging others to join your business.
Find out what really drives them in your next team meetings or one-to-ones, and discover how you can apply these factors to your business model and growth strategies.