“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
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
Acknowledgement: Rethink 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.
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.
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!
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.
Responsibility: Give them autonomy
It is important to consider the environment in which millennials have been raised. This is one where they were allowed to contribute to decision making and thanks to increased exposure to the world, have been able to mature significantly quicker than the previous generation. As a result, they are keen to take responsibility. Why not give your employees the chance to do so on a micro level?
We suggest making them solely responsible for one task, this does not have to be anything of great significance but will allow your employees to feel significantly fulfilled and encourage engagement.
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!