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Dispel The Myth And Engage Your Millennials

Published 22nd November 2016 by Melissa Farrington
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Job-hopping and reward driven? It’s time to dispel the myth of generation millennial – because understanding your people is key to developing your people.

We need to stop broad brushing millennials as homogenous. Just like other generations, everyone needs and wants something different from work. So rather than defining an approach, here are a few ideas – amongst many – for engaging a workforce of young professionals.

 

Stop thinking retention and start thinking purpose

The career paths of millennials are as much to do with our changeable economic landscape as their sociological behaviours, but if you are concerned about churn it can be useful to kindle brand loyalty. Drive a sense of purpose and connectedness through your organisation’s values and principles. Feeling connected to the wider organisational ambition will no doubt spark pride, loyalty and commitment.

According to a 2015 Deloitte survey, six in 10 employees cited purpose as the reason they chose their current employer, with 86% of millennials saying that finding their job ‘interesting’ was the key reason they’d remain in their role.

 

Forget perks and think about opportunities

While bonuses and salary rises are obviously still part of the equation, “it isn’t all about perks,” says Reema Malhotra, a young professional working in London, “but rather giving employees the opportunity to progress, take ownership and feel confident and supported.”

Consider how you can offer more involvement for young professionals. It’s not necessarily about an annual course, but about ongoing professional development, whether heightened responsibility, dedicated mentoring or role variety. It pays to support your people in the areas they want to develop – you'll see returns in engagement, innovation and retention.

 

Abandon hierarchical barriers

Today’s young workforce values senior team member feedback 50% more than previous generations, according to a global survey by SuccessFactors and Oxford Economics. So open up the channels of communication across your business and encourage your senior leaders to talk to entry-level employees. This is about offering young professionals opportunities to learn from more experienced colleagues, take on responsibility, challenge and be challenged. A flatter structure can improve communication as well as encourage both employee engagement and inspiring leadership.