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How to keep a millennial workforce highly engaged 

Today, millennials account for more than 50 percent of the workforce in the UK. And globally, millennials are poised to represent 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, according to Forbes. Having said that, it is absolutely fair to say that millennials are the future of the business world. Even today, millennials are the largest working generation.

This explains why organisations are now taking a targeted approach to employee engagement and retention keeping millennials’ interest at the forefront. Most business leaders now want to formulate engagement and performance management strategies targeted specifically at millennials. This is for the simple reason that millennials have a different set of motivators and priorities altogether.

Also, there are some challenges linked with a millennial workforce that businesses need to navigate. This is another reason why business leaders have a greater concern for engagement levels among millennials.

This blog effectively highlights some actionable strategies for fostering high engagement amongst a millennial workforce. However, before we move forward, it is essential to elaborate on the challenges of a millennial workforce. Once we are on the same page with respect to the challenges, we can talk about engagement strategies in a more worthwhile way. The subsequent section elaborates on the downsides of millennials in the workplace.

The downsides of a millennial workforce

Undoubtedly, millennials bring exceptional talents and skills to the table. However, it is also true that millennials are infamous for their low engagement in the workplace and the tendency to switch jobs in a frequent manner. To elucidate, Gallup reveals that more than 20 percent of millennials change jobs within a year. Also, around 25 percent of millennials wish to work for more than 6 employers in their careers.

Having said that, high disengagement in millennials and no reluctance to switch jobs can be quite challenging for organisations. However, the only solution to these problems is to have a targeted strategy aimed at driving engagement and retention among millennials. As a leader, you need to ensure that your organisation does everything right to engage your millennial talents.

The key is to innovate and improvise with your employee engagement strategies. The best-case scenario is to formulate strategies in alignment with factors that matter the most to millennials. For that, you need to first understand what works best for millennials.

The subsequent section talks about actionable tactics for driving high engagement in a millennial workforce. By putting these strategies to use, you can make an incredible impact on the engagement scenarios within your organisation. So, let us get started without further ado.

5 incredible strategies to boost millennial engagement

empower employees with flexibility

We all agree that flexibility has become the new normal in this revamped corporate world. Thanks to stellar technologies, working arrangements are more flexible than ever before, and understandably, employees are quite fascinated by the idea of flexibility.

Flexibility offers the opportunity to have an enhanced work-life balance. In fact, according to LinkedIn, more than 70 percent of employees are of the view that flexibility facilitates a great work-life balance. Besides, more than 50 percent of employees feel that they are more productive in remote working arrangements.

Speaking of millennials in particular, for them, flexibility is one of the top priorities when it comes to their careers. As per Deloitte, almost 70 percent of millennials want flexible work arrangements for a better work-life balance. Moreover,  a large proportion of millennials are also ready to quit their current jobs for greater flexibility.

All in all, when it comes to engaging your millennial workforce, you need to embrace and promote flexibility. Millennials have the highest motivation when their managers empower them with greater flexibility and trust. Having said that, by offering more flexibility to them, you will not only assist them in a great life balance but also foster high motivation in them.

Providing flexibility to employees has become almost indispensable for contemporary organisations in the pursuit of driving high productivity. If you are not providing flexibility to your millennial talents, they will gravitate toward other organisations that do.

cultivate a culture of purpose

There is something highly appreciable about millennials that sets them apart. In addition to prioritising their careers, they also give high priority to collective welfare. Millennials are aware of the current environmental and social challenges around the globe. The best part is that they are willing to play a proactive role in addressing these issues.

To explain, millennials want their employers to assist them in making a positive contribution to the environment and society. They want to work for purpose-driven enterprises that look beyond profitability and aim to resolve larger global issues. They show the greatest engagement and motivation when they see their organisations making positive contributions to the surroundings.

According to Forbes, more than 80 percent of millennials will show greater allegiance to organisations that have strong CSR policies. And more than 60 percent of millennials will refuse a job offer by a company that is not committed to social and environmental obligations.

Are you a purpose-driven business? Well, in case you have not felt the need so far, it is time to change a few things. Millennials are the future and to get the best out of them, your organisation needs to promote a greater purpose. You need to reinforce strong core values in the workplace and assist your millennial workforce in making a positive contribution through CSR activities.

Besides, there are some added advantages of CSR activities that can further add to engagement. Each CSR activity will also be a great opportunity for team building and positive working relationships.

The bottom line here is that when your millennial employees take great pride in being a part of your organisation, they will respond with greater engagement and loyalty. This is where you will also witness a positive impact on employee retention among millennials.

offer learning and growth opportunities

Millennials have an uncompromising attitude when it comes to their career development. They want their employers to invest in their career development and assist them in evolving professionally. As per Lorman, 90 percent of millennials report that workplace learning is of utmost importance to them. Further, Deloitte Global Survey reveals that 30 percent of millennials look for new jobs when employers do not offer career advancement prospects.

Having said that, these insights explain how important workplace learning and development are for millennials. For driving higher engagement in them, you need to offer effective and practical learning experiences that can add real value to their careers. This is where you can leverage gamified learning, LMS, and learning applications to offer enriching learning experiences.

Further, you can also introduce mentoring programs targeted at the personal and professional development of millennials. In fact, the Deloitte survey also speaks about mental health concerns among millennials. It reveals that more than 40 percent of millennials experience burnout situations due to constant work stress.

In the UK alone, more than 50 percent of millennials are under constant stress and anxiety. Needless to say, engagement and burnout cannot go hand in hand.

So, you can offer mentoring programmes on mental health, stress management, emotional intelligence, and so on to your millennial workforce. If you can convince them that you have genuine care for their wellness, they will reciprocate with greater commitment.

Besides, in the context of career development, there needs to be a systematic and fair mechanism for offering ample growth opportunities. Offering leadership opportunities to your millennial workforce can be a great way to capture their engagement. Also, with delegation, you can offer more responsibilities and authority to them to engage them in a worthwhile way.

embrace diversity and inclusion

Another great way to engage your millennial workforce is to embrace diversity and inclusion. Millennials have strong virtues of equality and equity in the workplace. Their motivation is high when there is inclusion in the workplace and everyone has an equal claim to growth.

For millennials, discrimination and prejudices are stereotypes they have zero tolerance for. They rather believe in gender neutrality, inclusion at all levels, fair treatment of all, and celebration of diverse cultures. Having said that, to keep millennials engaged and retain them, you need to embed diversity and inclusion as a natural virtue in the company culture.

According to Kudos, almost 50 percent of millennials consider the notion of diversity while applying for jobs. They want to work for diverse and inclusive organisations because it is essential to their motivation. They are comfortable and happy to work in a diverse environment because it brings out the best in them. They want to learn from each other’s unique perspectives and experiences that can add value to their career.

offer feedback and recognition

It is time that leaders acknowledge the fact that millennials expect feedback sharing to be more regular even if they are hesitant to ask for it. We already know that feedback sharing is a vital element of performance management. However, when it comes to millennials, feedback sharing has to be more systematic and frequent.

A study by Hubspot highlights that more than 90 percent of employees will be disengaged if they do not receive continuous feedback from their managers and supervisors. When it comes to millennials, they look forward to greater support from their superiors.

Hence, to engage millennials, you need strong mechanisms for regular feedback sharing. Even if your organisation is working in remote mode, you can leverage internal communication tools to facilitate the same.

Probing further, for millennials, recognition is as important as feedback. Vantage Circle explains that 80 percent of millennials say they will work with greater commitment and allegiance when they receive recognition and rewards.

They love to receive recognition and rewards for their effort and the zeal to go the extra mile. If you can find a way to create an interesting system of rewards and recognition, there is a bright chance of cultivating high engagement.

Speaking of rewards, personalised rewards linked to their personal preferences and interests can be a great way to make them feel valued and appreciated. Besides, social media shoutouts to recognise them can also be a great improvisation that can boost workplace motivation. You need to find creative ways of appreciating your employees to drive a positive change. This is where your innovation will be put to test as a leader. Are you up for the challenge?

conclusion

To encapsulate, millennials hold the key to the future and their engagement is paramount to the advancement of your business. Engaged millennials hold the potential to change the destiny of your business in an incredible and unimaginable way. However, having a millennial workforce and a highly engaged millennial workforce are two different things. You need to ensure that you make the most of your young millennial talents by engaging them effectively.

Author: Kiara Miller – Marketing Content Manager, Crowjack

Photo credit: Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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