My daughter is a millennial. By the year 2025, she and other millennials will make up almost 75 percent of the workforce around the world. These workers, who are now between the age of 18 and 34, have already surpassed Gen X to have the biggest share of the labor force.
Millennial workers are perceived to be entitled and not very industrious. And yes, they are more likely to hop from one job to another. But when motivated in a way that they understand, they are also hard-workers and loyal.
Managers today are faced with the challenge of maximizing the talents of their millennial workers. The important thing, however, is for managers to learn how to motivate them. Here’s what managers have to do:
- Acknowledge and give rewards for jobs well done.
It is important for millennials to be recognized for anything they do well at work. That’s why they are considered by many as the trophy generation. Giving employee recognition can help a lot in keeping them happy at work. Millennials love to receive things that give them instant gratification, such as extra time off, more responsibility, and even professional development.
- Put them in charge of projects.
Another important motivator for millennial workers is the chance to make a difference in the workplace and even in the community in general. If you want them to give their best effort at work, you have to give them opportunities to lead. This doesn’t mean they should be offered higher positions immediately, but managers need to allow them to be leaders in certain projects where they can prove to everyone their worth.
- Allow them to keep their work and life balance.
Most millennials grew up seeing their parents working really long hours and still end up losing their jobs. This could explain why millennial workers care so much about keeping their work/life balance. They are likely to prefer working for companies that offer flexible work schedules, regular time off, and opportunities to telecommute. As a manager, you should take advantage of modern technology so that you may allow them to choose a comfortable work setup.
- Promote collaboration and encourage working in groups.
One of the main differences between baby boomers and millennials is the latter’s desire to collaborate and work in groups. They feel that success is easier to achieve when multiple heads are thinking. They also find it hard to be innovative and creative when they are stuck working alone in their cubicles.
- Provide them with opportunities for career development.
For millennial workers, it isn’t enough that they get a job because they don’t plan on staying in the same position for many years. They want to make a difference so they always have a desire to enhance their skills and even acquire new ones. Thus, it is important for companies to provide them with opportunities for professional growth. Allowing them to join career coaching programs is one of the best ways to motivate them.
Contributing Author: Melvin J. Scales
*The majority of the content above comes from an article by Cecile Peterkin.