Much has been said about the young millennial workforce, their work ethics, their capabilities and their general demeanor at the workplace. Some experts and commentators, like Simon Sinek even believe them to be spoilt (with little or no fault of their own). Organizations, young and old, believe that all millennials care about are free bagels and bean bags in the office. But is that really the case? Are millennials really that different from the previous generations in what they look for when signing on the dotted line?
Every previous generation of workers has listed ‘job satisfaction’ as their primary driving force to stay engaged at the workplace. So why are millennials looked down upon when they say the same thing? Let’s take a look at what really matters to them and how can leaders of today attract, retain and shape leaders of tomorrow out of these millennials.
Diversity in opportunities
Decoding millennials is fairly easy. They like to avoid the mundane and are always looking for flexibility and a new experience. So give them that. Offer them positions on rotation in different departments of your organization and let them find what works for them. Create an environment within the organization where millennials are offered roles in strategic planning committees that would enable them to build a dynamic resumé. To sum it up, let them know you wish to be a partner in their growth as an individual and as a professional.
Collaboration isn’t limited to work only. It also entails listening to and bringing in the inputs of everyone on the team. Since millennials are a part of your team, and they may have inputs for your organization that allow you to attune your product and services to the millennial consumers. So listen to them and value their inputs just as much as you would for an experienced team member.
According to a study conducted by Cone Communications, 82% millennials consider social responsibility as an important factor while associating themselves with a brand. Show them what your brand is truly about, the kind of social responsibility that it undertakes and get them involved in it.
Give them new horizons
Observe them closely, talk to them and carefully evaluate the kind of skills they possess. Utilize those skills to their full potential if you want a truly engaged millennial workforce.
Millennials are playing a critical role in changing the way organizations innovate and transform their work culture to fit into their current and future needs. This change in the best workplace practices is not only beneficial for the millennials, but also for the organization they work for. If they have some valuable inputs to help improve systems and processes of any department, let them take the lead and give them the opportunity to bring about the change they envision.
The expectations millennials harbor are the same as any previous generation, the only difference is that they have grown up with a lot of technological advancements that allow them to think differently. But where they truly differentiate themselves is the way they like to take ownership of the projects offered to them according to their core strengths. If your organization can attune itself to that fact and give millennials the kind of opportunities they seek, and help evolve the work culture of your organization, they can become the most engaged and productive employee group for your company.