Perhaps you are in one of the many organizations struggling to figure out how to “deal” with Millennials. With all the negative publicity about the entire generation, it may seem difficult to manage them effectively. I have good news for you – it really isn’t that difficult. Millennials are people just like all of your other employees.
One of the keys to engaging Millennials, or any other generation, is to first understand why they think what they think. This generation is the first to have had access to information at their fingertips for the majority of their lives. They no longer have to rely on what they learn from elders in an organization. They can get online and instantly learn about a topic from quite a few perspectives. This is also a generation whose opinion has been valued since they were kids. Parents asked how they felt and collaboration in school was key. These, and quite a few other reasons, have shaped the mindset of Millennials. With that foundation, here are three ways to better engage Millennials:
1. Ask them for their input. Millennials are likely new in the organization. They are also the most likely to have fresh ideas. With a fresh perspective on customers, processes, policies, etc., Millennials are well-positioned to offer transformative ideas. Don’t discount their ideas solely based on their lack of tenure.
2. Provide feedback. Millennials thrive on feedback – and expect to receive it. If you think about it, this makes them one of your most valuable employee groups. A group that is interested in learning how they can improve and what they are doing right (and need to continue doing) is a group that can provide value to an organization.
3. Provide growth opportunities. Professional development, leadership opportunities, project management and challenging work are just a few examples of growth opportunities Millennials look for from an organization. Take full advantage. Encourage Millennials to challenge themselves and see them flourish. This is an informal type of feedback that conveys confidence in your employees.
Use the methods described above to more actively engage Millennials in your organization. None of them require large capital outlays and all can be done with little effort. For what it is worth, these methods can also help engaging employees in other generations.
What has your organization done to engage Millennials?