02 Aug Developing Millennial Leaders: 16 Ways To Motivate Millennials At Work
Developing Millennial Leaders:
16 Ways to Motivate Millennials At Work
By Sean General and Diane Ting
*This blog post is an excerpt from the eBook Developing Millennial Leaders: The Ultimate Guide To Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Employees. Download the FREE eBOOK for more insights and complete chapters.
How many workers in your company are ages 20 to 37? Born from the 1980s to the early 2000s, many Millennials have graduated college, entered the workforce, and are destined to become future business leaders and managers.
Are you worried or excited about developing Millennial leaders?
Do you know how to attract and retain generation Y employees?
Here are 16 key strategies in retaining generation Y employees that companies can use.
1. Share Your Company’s Vision, Mission, and Values
Millennials are more purpose-driven than older generations.
In Center for Generational Kinetics and Barnum Financial Group’s whitepaper, 60% of Millennials claim that a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work at their current employer.
Most Gen Y workers want to find meaning in their work and are not satisfied by simply completing the hours. This means that your company’s vision, mission, values, and culture are now essential in recruiting and retaining Millennials.
All great businesses start with their WHY, not their products or services. Simon Sinek explains in the video below.
2. Be Authentic. Walk The Talk.
Practice what you preach.
Gen Y employees are more critical of what their company says or does.
Millennials want their companies’ vision and mission to be congruent with their actions, HAVAS Worldwide’s Prosumer Report observes.
They value companies that are true to their cause because they can align themselves to a greater purpose.
So, there are two main causes why Millennials job hop:
1. Their values are not aligned with the company’s
2. The company’s does not practice what it preaches
Through the Internet and Social Media, they can see past Marketing speak, Public Relations spin, and inauthentic pep talks.
Gone are the days where Public Relations spin and crises can be swept under the rug.
3. Feed Their Curios Minds, Not Your Ego.
Millennials want to know the purpose of their tasks.
According to gen Ys in the workforce case study of 4,000 Millennials, conducted by Greatist, nearly 75% agreed that finding a sense of purpose in their work is more important than a salary.
“Why should I do this?” is not a challenge to authority. It is an inquiry to know their purpose at work.
We do not scold curious 4-year olds when they ask questions. So why should we scold Millennials for being curios too? Instead, explain to them how their tasks would contribute to your company’s goals.
4. Switch to “Goal Management.”
After understanding their role in your company, how Millennials fulfil your company’s vision comes next.
According to HAVAS Worldwide’s Prosumer Report, “Smart businesses will give their young employees clearly stated missions, the tools and feedback they need, and let them blaze new trails.”
Standardized approaches restrict creativity and collaboration among Millennials.
Instead, they should be empowered to choose their own methods and tools that they deem to be most effective in helping achieving their goals.
Managing generation Y in the workplace can also include assigning Millennials on rotational projects.
This lets them feel that they are moving towards tangible goals while gaining a variety of experiences for professional growth.
5. Develop a Collaborative Work Culture.
Millennials are all about teamwork.
Intelligence Group’s study found that 88% prefer a more collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
“Building this type of culture not only makes business ‘cents’ through increased productivity and creativity, but it also creates a more engaged workforce, increasing morale and helping attract and retain top talent,” Huffington Post suggests.
6. Stop Micromanaging. Let Them Learn.
The Millennials’ collaborative work culture should be about trust and freedom to experiment.
Micromanaging is one of the biggest factors that push Millennials to leave a company.
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report, the number one reason Generation Y workers leave a job is directly related to a boss’ mismanagement of Millennials.
They want to be coached, not micromanaged. This generation prefers to learn the hard way through trial and error, rather be guided by rules, regulations and procedures.
7. Don’t Just Delegate. Trust Them.
Gen Y workers seek job environments where they are trusted to make their own decisions.
Let them feel that their opinions and decisions matter. This will give them a better sense of responsibility for their actions and a purpose to their work.
However, make sure they take responsibility for their projects success and failure, corporate trainer Bruce Mayhew suggests. If things go south, set a debrief meeting to know what went wrong and discuss on how to improve.
Clarissa Delgado, Co-Founder and CEO of Teach For The Philippines, and Gian Dela Rama, Co-Founder and CEO of Innovantage Inc. discuss what motivates generation Y in the workplace, and how developing Millennial leaders can shape the future. Watch the video below.
8. Value Relationships More Than Structure.
Collaboration among co-workers can emphasize relationships more than structure.
Developing millennial leaders require good relationships can foster constant and open communication, allowing millennial generation leaders to share their new and out of the box ideas.
Millennials like to build strong interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
So companies need to create meaningful physical and social connections when managing gen Y employees as explained by Entrepreneur.
9. Give Frequent Encouragement and Feedback.
The best way to encourage a collaborative work culture is to encourage frequent encouragement and feedback.
Millennials respond best to constructive feedback and want to be frequently evaluated on their work. Supervisors need to learn how to provide both positive and negative feedback.
Traditionally, employee feedback is given by a performance review every six months. However, performance management for Millennials entails constant feedback to keep them motivated and be fulfilled at their job.
They appreciate even the simplest gestures.
So a simple “thank you” or “congratulations” can make a huge difference.
Keeping an open line of communication to gauge their performance and to mentor them can make a huge difference in productivity.
Keevin O’Rourke’s TED talk shows how to win the Millennials’ loyalty.
10. Fuel Their Passion.
For Millennial leadership development, passion is a valuable resource.
University of North Carolina’s study found that Millennial workers tend to be motivated by meaningful work and a sense of accomplishment in and personal professional projects.
Ask Millennials to do something they are not passionate about and everything goes south from there.
In fact, Tash + Co founder and president Chloé Tashjian Soares says that one of the most difficult things for a company is when they don’t know what their employees want.
Soares suggests: directly ask Millennials what they want out of their work and of life.
a. “What would you like to do to grow yourself?”
b. “Hey, how are you doing?”
c. “If you’re not doing so great, what can I provide you with?”
What do Millennials want in life? Watch the video below.
Google owes its massive success to offering offering employees time to work on their personal passion projects.
This makes more engaged and productive, boosting innovations within the company.
Here is how they retain their “Googlers.”
11. Invest In Career Development For Millennials.
Millennials should have professional development to fuel their passion at work. Their most valued opportunity is the chance to work with strong coaches and mentors.
Millennials relish the opportunity to engage, interact and learn from senior management.
Corporate training for Millennials, such as mentoring programs, can also be particularly effective to help relieve tensions between generations.
“This is a generation that is open to mentoring relationships, but one that is based on trust,” Philippine National Bank Chairperson Flor Tarriela says.
Below is an infographic on how Millennial workers learn.
Other opportunities in leadership training for Millennials include bringing in expert speakers.
Send your Millennial employees to the Certified Professional Manager Mini MBA program to develop their promising Generation Y leadership style.
12. Develop Your Purpose-Driven Business.
Support local. Plush and Play stuffed toys are made co-designed and made by less fortunate mothers in Bulacan. Visit SDGchannel to know their story.
Millennials want personal growth because they are more purpose-driven than older generations.
In Greatist’s survey, more than 60% of Millennials said that social responsibility plays a significant role in choosing where to work.
Philanthropic opportunities, such as volunteer work through a company, are great ways to get your team to give back to the community, while fostering team building.
The Storytelling Project founder Rey Bufi reads stories to impoverished children in remote areas in the Philippines. Visit SDGchannel.com to know his story.
According to Rappler’s Millennials statistics in the Philippines, 83% of the respondents would involve themselves in projects for a social cause.
Among those who want to participate in an advocacy, the top choice involves environment.
Moreover, there is a growing trend where Millennials want to work at eco-friendly companies.
Experience’s research found that 81% of college students and recent graduates believe that it is important for them to work for a green company.
13. Work-Life Balance: Have Flexible Work Schedules.
Work-life balance is one of the most important drivers of employee retention among Millennials.
This is important to them because they also want to grow their personal lives.
To achieve these, they enjoy living wages and office perks while using technology to be productive inside and outside of work.
Efficiency is highly prized at work.
Contrary to popular belief, the Generation Y work ethic of being lazy is not true, HAVAS Worldwide’s Prosumer Report says.
14. Use Technology To Be More Efficient.
Millennials highly value efficiency at the office because this gives them more work-life balance.
According to PwC, using the state-of-the-art technology is very important to Millennials because this adds to their efficiency.
Do you want to wait 10 minutes to boot a computer or to load the Internet?
Also, Millennials expect the online technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace, PwC reports.
In fact, companies will be more competitive when they meet the Millennials’ expectations with use of technology, Randstad USA’s research observes.
Some Millennials may feel constrained by using out-dated traditional working practices.
Here is how you could use the Internet to your company’s advantage:
Co-workers can use the Internet to collaborate on projects anywhere, anytime.
• Use Evernote to store and file your meeting’s minutes online.
With the mobile version, you could read your notes while offline. You could grant your co-workers access so that your team can review them too.
• Use Google Drive to review your team’s files.
If your team has multiple versions of the same file, Google Drive can show the most updated only, reducing confusion among your members.
You can also upload YouTube videos to Google Drive and restrict its access to your team only. With this, your team can review the file before discussing it.
15. Offer Competitive Pay and Fair Bonuses.
Millennials want to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
According to PwC’s survey, 44% of respondents said competitive wages made employers more attractive, the second highest proportion for any factor given.
“Despite the importance they place on a sociable workplace, Millennial professionals are still highly motivated by generous salaries or bonus schemes,” according to international recruitment firm Robert Walters.
But there is caveat.
“Money for tenure does not always work because they understand that salary increases and bonuses are for a job well done, not just because they stayed another year,” Manila Recruitment explains.
This generation prefers performance-based compensation along with office incentives rather than a rigid salary structure based on tenure.
Bloomberg’s video explains why living wages very important to Millennials.
16. Make Work Fun: Be Generous With Office Perks.
“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else,” Virigin group founder Richard Branson says.
Branson’s business philosophy is more relevant than ever.
Millennials want a trusting collaborative environment that values working relationships, personal growth, and work-life balance.
Millennial speaker Ryan Jenkins explains, “It’s not as much about having access to ping pong tables as it is having elements that reflect their life outside of work.”
What does this mean?
Small privileges can subtly make your office more enjoyable to Millennials.
Office perks can be as simple as:
• relaxing indoor gardens
• free lunches on Fridays
• karaoke nights
A word of caution:
These privileges should not be abused. Your policies and facilities should not distract your workers from reaching their goals.
Are You Ready To Embrace Millennials?
“Instead of complaining about adapting for millennials, it’s imperative for leaders and managers to acknowledge the role of millennial behavior as an indication of the needs of the modern workplace to attract, leverage, and retain modern talent.”
– Crystal Kadakia, Millennial Consultant and Speaker
This blog post is an excerpt from the eBook Developing Millennial Leaders: The Ultimate Guide To Attracting and Retaining Generation Y Employees.
Download the eBook and learn:
• How Millennials Tick
• How to Attract Top Millennial Talent
• How To Lead Millennials
• How To Develop Millennial Leaders
• How To Earn Your Millennials Staffs’ Loyalty
• How To Decrease Your Turnover Rate