Millennials are an extremely loyal and hardworking generation, especially if you make it clear to them that you care. Millennials tend to be well-versed in the constantly changing world of technology - they're open to change and meet problems head-on. They do not fear obstacles and, instead, get excited about the opportunities that constraints may create. Organizations can learn a lot from this generation if they keep an open mind to do so. However, one of the significant challenges in managing a millennial workforce is to keep it motivated. Millennials are largely running towards jobs with purpose and quality. They always lookout for a sense of accomplishment.
As a leader, you must not only understand the 'why' of motivating millennials but also know the 'how'.
A generation shaped by technology: Millennials
For people born between 1980 and 1995, their lives have been marked by some of the fastest-moving shifts in the world economy, political landscape, and culture. Pushed into the digital world, they have adapted and consumed the world around in a mature way. They know the world will be available at the click of a button. Further, e-commerce and OTT brands have given millennials more choices than ever before. All these shifts have impacted the world of work too. Today, millennials constitute a higher percentage of the workforce, and they demand a very different experience from the previous generation.
Suvodeep Das, VP - Sales and Marketing, Sodexo BRS India during a webcast titled, 'The why and how of motivating millennials' hosted by People Matters and Sodexo, decoded the expectations of millennials and how organizations can craft an excellent engagement and experience strategy for millennials.
Here are the key insights from the session:
Critical traits that differentiate millennials' needs and expectations:
- Environmentally conscious, socially aware: Millennials consider social responsibility and environmental friendliness when making their purchase decisions. There is a shift in the interests of consumers from regular to more healthy and organic products or using recyclable paper while purchasing items for self or gifting.
- Love deals for extra savings: 66 percent of millennials would switch brands if offered at least a 30 percent discount, and only a third see a brand to consider trends or product updates. 60 percent of the millennials stay loyal to brands they currently purchase from, if treated well through a customer-centric experience.
- Shared versus owned preferred: While buying a house is the biggest aspiration for millennials, the large ticket size of real estate is prohibitive, and they prefer renting an apartment versus buying one. This doesn't tie them down to one city or one job. This is no different when it comes to commuting from work to home and back. As the new workforce favors the concept of sharing versus owning, deriving meaningful purpose from work versus conventional notion of “going to the office”, more and more employees are choosing to work out of coworking spaces that are closer to their homes. These coworking spaces are driven by low costs, plug-and-play environment, and hassle-free operations among small and large organizations.
- Job hoppers: As gig economy continues to change the workplace norms, the millennials’ career choices are being driven by career development programs and the wide range of flexible benefits that the company has to offer.
What can organizations learn?
- Believe that businesses should have a positive impact on society
- Believe in having the skills and knowledge to perform in the workplaces of Industry 4.0
- Take pride in governance and transparency
- Build businesses on ethics and value system
- Create and practice work-life balance
- Create opportunities to learn and grow
- Flexibility to work and innovate
How can HR leaders motivate them better at work?
- Give them a sense of purpose by driving engagement activities linked to CSR
- Empower them with e-learning series and news that help them excel digitally
- Focus on family-first initiatives and deliver benefits that are universal and inclusive
- Personalized experiences are catering to meet the diverse needs of the "me generation"
- Digitize your organization with tools and solutions that optimize their time and efforts
- Encourage open and regular feedback
- Think Employee Experience before Customer Experience
How digital benefits create a better experience?
- Multi-generational workforce/Multi-skilled teams: Can be packaged and delivered basis the needs specific to the life stages of the employees. Add-ons to existing solutions can be designed as per employee request
- Better UX/Freedom: Facilitate real-time communication and new news to keep the employees engaged, and also help employees to make choices from vast networks as per their needs and wants
- Dedicated service support/ Direct communication: Hi-tech solutions that come with full-service support for instant query management, create experiences that delight them via offers for instant gratification
- Create a workplace that resonates at a more in-depth, personal level to motivate them better
- Competitive benefits, a big differentiator to attract & motivate millennials
- Performance-based promotions and rewards, instant gratification
- Flexibility at the workplace to bring their whole self to work
- A platform to learn, grow and achieve their dreams
- Stimulating work environment and challenging work
You can learn more about the various digital employee benefits here.