Our good friends over at ej4 put together this article on communicating and keeping your millennials engaged. As millennials typically have a reputation to be job-hoppers whose careers are more focused on job satisfaction than traditional ideals of security. Many are hesitant to trust business hierarchies. However, millennials have a plethora of merits to offer the companies for which they work. They’re tech-savvy, collaborative and creative thinkers, waiting to leave their marks on the world. With such skills, you want to keep millennials around to give your company a fresh and innovative perspective. But, if you don’t know how to communicate with and reach young staffers, you could lose them. Here’s a guide to help you connect with the millennials in your office:
Lead with why
In his presentation at TEDxPugetSound, author and ethnographer Simon Sinek decoded the reason some people and companies become leaders that the world follows and others don’t. He calls his model the Golden Circle, and it posits that most businesses and people sell their ideas by saying what it does for the consumer and how the product does it. Rarely do businesses and individuals say why they do what they do. Great leaders do the opposite. They explain why and present a vision that others can aspire to. Only then do they say how they’ll work toward that vision and what their ideas can offer.
Millennials, especially, respond to the Golden Circle. They want to know that their work makes a difference. As such, when motivating them, focus on your company’s vision.
Develop their leadership and job skills
Unlike other generations, millennials are largely unwilling to wait for a promotion or raise. To them, if they’re ready for the challenge, waiting for the chance to hone their talents is a waste of time. While you don’t have to offer millennials a promotion right away, you can and should take steps to invest in their development. Find ways to give them more responsibility and start preparing them for future leadership roles.
The 2014 Deloitte Millennial Survey revealed that 25 percent of millennials actively seek leadership roles and 50 percent say their companies could do more to invest in future managers. Be the company that actively invests in the next generation of leaders, and millennials will be more inclined to stick around.
What’s more, grooming young employees shows them they have a future at your company. Create clear advancement paths to give employees something to work toward. Aside from teaching leadership skills, invest in professional development programs for your company. Doing so is beneficial on a few levels. First, it creates a more qualified and expert workforce that could provide your company with returns. Secondly, it makes millennials feel like you care about their futures and have a plan for them.
Provide regular feedback
Millennials are a work- and results-driven generation. They want to improve their skills and master their line of work. However, if they don’t know how their doing, they can’t make changes. By providing regular and honest feedback, you give millennials a way to improve. Offering constructive criticism is free, and it will provide you with a more effective workforce. Additionally, give praise when praise is due. This keeps millennials engaged and motivated and further lets them know when they’re on the right track.
Millennials might be a confusing generation to baby boomers, but by learning to understand them, you’ll see they’re driven, motivated and ready to improve. Such traits can help your company achieve its goals, but only if you invest in your young staff and keep them around. These tips should make understanding and developing millennials easier.
P1 Learning offers short online video training courses in a variety of important topics. By offering training videos to your millennial employees, you’ll show them you’re invested in their development at the company. And with that training and investment, millennials can become motivated leaders.