Perhaps more than any generation before, Millennials have received a lot of criticism. This first generation to come of age has had many labels attached to it: selfish, entitled, unmotivated, addicted to technology...and the list goes on.
In reality, Millennials have a lot to offer the workforce. That’s good news, considering 35% of American workers are Millennials, making them the largest segment of the U.S. labor force. Let’s put aside the stereotypes and, instead, take a look at just a few of the many positive attributes of Millennials and how they can be a driving force in your organization.
1. Millennials are Mission Minded
It’s one thing to come to work each day and punch a time clock; it’s another to feel passionate about the work you do. Millennials, in general, don’t define themselves by titles and climbing the corporate ladder. One of the main goals of a Millennial is to find meaning and purpose in the work they do and to use their talents to make a difference. If you’re an owner, isn’t that the same mindset you had when you started your business? Don’t you wish all your employees felt this way? Motivating and engaging Millennials requires first tapping into the heart of your organization and then effectively and consistently communicating that heart to your employees. Leverage a Millennial worker’s longing for change to combat complacency and to help keep your company moving forward.
2. Millennials Desire an Engaging Culture
A company’s culture is one of the most influential factors in determining employee satisfaction. Having employees feel good about where they work not only creates a positive atmosphere, it can also increase productivity, improve retention, decrease absenteeism, improve safety and ultimately boost market share. The defining characteristics of an engaging culture are honesty, transparency and open communication — all of which are highly valued by Millennials. If you’ve been struggling to improve your company culture, make it a point to engage with your Millennial workers for their ideas and opinions. Encourage honest feedback and have an open exchange with them. Then, empower them to implement the ideas discussed to create change across the company.
3. Millennials Value Recognition
If you’re a leader within an organization, you know that a deeper understanding of what motivates employees is required in order to impact business success and create an engaging culture. It’s been shown that recognition boosts individual employee engagement, increases productivity and leads to higher retention, demonstrating that an encouraging word is good for individuals and good for business. When recognizing employees, don’t be quick to classify your Millennials as the only group that values recognition, most generations of employees value it. Companies that value recognition know that all employees deserve it for a “job well done” and appreciate it when it is sincere.
4. Millennials Desire Flexibility
When choosing their next job, a top priority for most Millennials is a good work/life balance, according to a study by Deloitte. They value time with family, friends and pursuing interests outside of work. For them, flexibility ranks higher than benefits, titles or salaries, and it’s become a major focus in many organizations. While some work environments may not be conducive to compressing work days, flexible hours or working remotely, there are many organizations that have greatly benefited from these types of offerings. A flexible work environment has been shown to increase employee engagement, improve worker satisfaction, reduce absenteeism and turnover, and help establish companies as employers of choice. Offering flexibility doesn’t mean less work gets done or that work won’t get done on time. In fact, as shown in an article by Forbes, employees are more productive when they are allowed to make choices about how, where and when they work.
5. Millennials are Collaborative and Creative
Rather than working in isolation and being fueled by a sense of competition, Millennials typically prefer to work in groups and build strong working relationships to achieve goals. These group settings spur creativity, and the collaboration helps capture new ideas. It’s this kind of brainstorming that can fuel growth within a company. In fact, companies that promote collaboration are five times as likely to be high performing. Millennials are also resourceful and are adept at using technology and crowdsourcing, and they back their assumptions with data. With rapid advances happening in business technology, their insights, knowledge base and ideas could prove invaluable.
The benefits that Millennials can bring to your workplace are many, and tailoring your recruiting efforts, engagement initiatives and benefits to attract this eager and energetic generation to your organization is critical. If you’d like to check out more tips on attracting and retaining talent, click the link below.
Your comprehensive risk management partner delivering business insurance, employee benefits, HR solutions, 401K services and personal insurance to protect and boost your bottom line while growing the communities we serve.