Workforce Strategies to Engage Millennials

As the millennial generation grows in the workforce, managers and human resources professionals will need to develop new engagement models. Millennials, which are the generation born between 1981 and 1996, are now the dominant generation in the workforce.  In the latest Gallup Engagement survey, nearly 90% of Millennials said professional development is important to them in their jobs and it’s one of the top drivers of employee engagement for individuals under the age of 25.

Millennials have a drastically different outlook on what they expect from their employment experience, and creating engagement strategies should be one of management’s big goals. Here are some of the professional development approaches that appeal to and engage Millennials.

  • Share your why. Showcase how your organization is making a difference in the world.  Help your people see and understand the connection between their contributions and your organization’s purpose.
  • Ditch annual performance reviews. Provide employees with weekly check-ins focused on their performance development and removing any obstacles they are encountering.
  • Stretch assignments. Employees are invited to participate on projects beyond their typical scope of work.  Provides employees with opportunities to expand both their perspective and network.
  • Provide workers with opportunities to be more entrepreneurial. Encourage and support experimentation.  Provide employees with opportunities to share ideas regarding new markets, products and/or services.
  • Increase autonomy. Give employees start-to-finish ownership of projects that fall within their job roles.  
  • Work on a cross-functional project team. Help incoming employees better understand the big picture and how their function/role ties into the overall success of the organization.
  • Personal purpose. Provide coaching and mentoring focused on helping employees find and live their purpose.

Bottom Line

Millennials are a new breed of employee because they had an upbringing like no other in history.  Supporting their high-tech, hyper-connected journey requires major adjustments to how organizations provide professional development.  Use this new understanding to increase your organization’s gravity regarding the attraction and retention of incoming generation of employees and leaders.

Sources:
“Six Driving Forces of Change That Will Shape 2019 and Beyond,” Robert B. Tucker
“Leaders: Learn to Attract Top Talent” by James M. Kerr and Steven Kenney