According to a Pew Research Center analysis of 2017 U.S. Census Bureau data, the largest section of the workforce is comprised of millennials, at 35 percent. This population segment is critical for nearly every company's success, a fact that presents challenges as well as opportunities.
But managers and business owners should embrace hiring millennials and learn how to capitalize on their strengths. The key is knowing how to empower them to be their best. Here are 10 strategies you can implement to help get the best efforts out of your millennial workers.
1. Create weekly social activities.
These days, distractions are closer at hand than ever before. All that an employee needs to do is pull out a cell phone. The cure shouldn't be too hard: Create a more social and friendly office environment.
When you empower your millennial employees to create stronger and closer relationships with each other, they may enjoy their work more, and you may find their work output improves as well.
Host weekly social events and activities for your staff members, such as office happy hours, company sports teams or even a quarterly event planned by your younger staff. You may see higher levels of employee engagement and energy across the board.
2. Allow for occasional remote work.
Millennials want explore the world and to do that, they thrive on a little bit of freedom.
You may understandably feel a bit reluctant to let your employees work remotely all the time. Try allowing them some occasional flexibility in what hours and days they work. They'll be grateful, which can help build loyalty and trust, which can lead to an even higher output.
3. Challenge your millennial employees.
Millennials need to be challenged to remain engaged. The second they become bored with what they are doing, their effort levels may drop.
To combat this, constantly look for new ways to help them learn new skills and reach challenging goals. You can employ this strategy through role-specific challenges, monthly goals or even non-work related intellectual pursuits, like a company book club.
4. Check in with them regularly.
Historically, many employers have treated young employees poorly, based on some misguided notion that they had to earn their right of passage.
Fortunately, attitudes have improved these days. Millennials understand that they don't have to put up with such treatment—they can simply go work somewhere else.
To keep your millennial employees content, check in with them regularly. Ask questions and seek to understand their goals and aspirations. When they feel genuinely valued, they will be much more willing to give their best efforts.
5. Pay them fairly.
Salary is a crucial component to encouraging high employee output, and it's especially true for millennials. Even someone intrinsically motivated can lose enthusiasm and energy if they realize they aren't being fairly compensated for the value that they are delivering to your company.
A higher salary might tax the payroll budget, but in the long run, it may lead to higher company revenues.
6. Provide them with the best technology.
Millennials can be more equipped to take advantage of new tools and technology than most other generations. To boost their output, support them with the best possible technology.
This does not necessarily mean you have to purchase the most expensive gadgets and devices. Instead, it means understanding your employee's pain points and looking for better technological solutions. For example, if they spend an hour a day manually entering data, you should look for tools to cut out such demotivating work.
Equipping your employees with the best possible tools can help foster a sincere sense of gratitude and a desire to put their best foot forward.
7. Key them in on decisions.
Millennials like to know what's going on around them. They're grateful when you can include them and remain transparent about critical business decisions. For younger workers, such trust and inclusion can provide both a great learning opportunity and a deeper sense of engagement with the company as a whole. Plus, you never know when they might contribute a valuable idea.
8. Don't assume they know something because you did at their age.
Millennials may have grown up in a different time than you did. Just because you knew how to change a tire at their age, that doesn't necessarily mean they do, too. False assumptions and the inevitable sore feelings that follow will only undermine whatever trust you're trying to build.
9. Give PTO for community service.
Even one or two days of annual PTO for community service can help expand the horizons of younger employees, promote the social consciousness of your company and make millennials more excited to work for you.
10. Give them a peek into other business units, as well as the flexibility to try new things.
Millennials want to grow, and offering the chance to explore other business units or departments within your company can be a valuable way to reduce their churn. They might tire of a sales role, but if they have enjoyed talking with your marketing team, they could make the transition and provide high output there.
In today's competitive business environment, don't view younger employees as a drain on resources. They're so adaptable and vital that they can help reinvigorate an office, as well as your profit. Integrate them into every reasonable aspect of your business and you may see your bottom line improve every day.