6 creative ways to motivate millennials (without giving them more money!)

Hannah Sims · 20 Oct

Only one in three millennials are engaged in the workplace, making them the least engaged of all generations.

This problem should not be underestimated - by 2020, they will form 50% of the global workforce - their increasing omnipresence means that this level of disengagement could have serious negative ramifications.
On top of this, turnover rates amongst millennials are high ( ⅔ expect to leave their current employers within 5 years) and the growing opportunities for entrepreneurship are palpable. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly important to motivate the so-called “Generation Y” in order to improve retention and also productivity.

A spanner in the works:

That which motivates millennials, however, differs greatly from that which motivates their more seasoned brethren. Only 44% cite wages as the most important factor when searching for a job, which means it’s time to get creative...

“In order to tap into their creative energy we need to be respectful of the things they care about.”- Dan Epstein, CEO of ReSource Pro.

1. Team-work: Implement team-building activities

Properly executed team building exercises can encourage inter-team bonding and can be a great way of improving goodwill and loyalty to the company. Further, they can boost productivity and make the office environment generally more pleasant. 88% of millennials agree, believing that team building exercises are worth the time and effort.

If your initial reaction to this is a recoil and an outcry of “how cliche,” worry not! “Team-building activities” does not necessarily translate to “cheesy exercises greeted by vacant faces.” Shake things up; make the activities fun. Host themed events for Halloween/New Year/Midsummer, make tasks for departments to complete, create team days out for high performing departments.

Take caution, though. Whatever you do, steer clear of one of the biggest culprits for pushing millennials out the door: micro-managing. Let their participation be voluntary, don’t ever force their hand!

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2. Creativity: Make an employee podcast

Who are you to say that your staff aren’t budding radio DJ’s? Let them showcase their playlist-making skills or speak on something that interests them. 64% of millennials globally would consider themselves “creative.”

Giving them an opportunity to express themselves and showcase this creativity will mean they feel respected and their opinions valued. Who knows, it might even give you something new to listen to on your commute!

3. Community: Give them time off for charity work

A recent survey found that millennials place a higher priority on helping people in need than having a high-paying career. Allowing employees to satisfy their thirst for social consciousness will qualify you for the elite category of employer that offers both. Support their endeavours, be this running a marathon or volunteering at a soup kitchen. Why not also share achievements on your company’s social media, giving them the recognition they so crave.

4. Wellness : Offer yoga classes

Only 29% of millennials define “healthy” as not being sick, compared to 46% of baby boomers. From this, it is clear that millennials see wellbeing not just as an absence of illness, as other generations do, but instead adopt a more holistic approach.

Yoga is a great way to dispel stress and eliminate any problems a sedentary lifestyle can give rise to. Hire an instructor to run monthly classes or offer subsidies to cover the cost of external classes. Demonstrably making an investment, albeit small, in the health of your millennials will make them less likely to bite the hand that feeds them!

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Need a wellness program? Try Perkbox.

5. Education: Start up a lecture series

Here at Perkbox, we are somewhat millennial heavy.This generation expect their knowledge to continue expanding, even once they have left the education system, a thirst that is kept at bay with a little something we like to call Perkbox University.

This is a programme that consists of bi-monthly lectures on the likes of presentation skills and sales techniques. As with the above, we cannot stress enough: let this be voluntary! Trust us, people will flock. Especially if you serve them a tipple or two.

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6. Acknowledgement: Re-think your incentives

Millennials have grown accustomed to having round-the-clock immediate access to information (thanks a lot Google...). They require regular feedback and instant gratification, instead of vague promises of future rewards. According to the Happy Millennials Employee Happiness Survey, 64% of millennials want to be recognised for personal accomplishments.

With that in mind, why not supplement your dusty annual bonus scheme with regular, attainable and affordable incentives? Treat this month’s top salesperson to theatre tickets or surprise the person who took the least sick days with a massage at their desk! Even just a note on someone’s desk can be a welcome gesture.

Of course, incentives and rewards should never be considered a replacement for good management, feedback and sincere praise. For millennials though, tangible rewards will seriously boost the impact of your appreciative words.

Need a rewards program? Try Perkbox.

Sources: http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx
http://www.multivu.com/players/English/7590351-blackhawk-engagement-solutions-happy-millennials/
https://www.pwc.com/m1/en/services/consulting/documents/millennials-at-work.pdf
https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html

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