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How to manage millennials – it’s not what you think

Known to many unfairly as ‘the snowflake generation’, by the end of next year, millennials will represent more than half of the UK workforce.

So regardless of whether you agree with their principles, in order to continue thriving as a business in the modern age, it’s important to take notice of this incoming generation of workers.

But how can you motivate a generation of employees who are known to dislike bureaucracy and distrust traditional hierarchical structures? What if anything can you do to earn their trust and ensure they stay engaged with their work?

When managed the right way, Millenials can become some of the most valuable members of your workforce, with heads full of ideas and a burning ambition to make the world a better place.

Given the opportunity to thrive, they will, but it’s up to you as an employer to provide this platform.

In this blog post, we discuss five key ways to do exactly that – how to manage millennials and motivate them so they can perform to the best of their ability.

Help others

help others

Millennials love working for a good cause, in the knowledge, their work has made a difference.

In fact, according to a comprehensive study by the Pew Research Center back in 2010, many younger workers said they place a higher priority on helping others over having a high-paying career.

So how can you take advantage of this? It’s simple. By encouraging millennial workers to use part of their working day to focus on causes that mean something to them.

Whether a local charity or getting involved with national eco-friendly campaigns, millennial workers will appreciate working for an organisation that understands the importance of giving back to their community. 

Set clear objectives

Most employees need and want direction from their work.

Millennials are no different. Nobody wants to sit mindlessly ticking tasks off a to-do list all day long – employees need to know their work is actually helping towards your organisation’s objectives.

An effective way of giving your employees direction is by setting clear targets.

However, to be successful, these objectives need to be tailored and realistic as employees will feel disengaged with their work if too much is expected of them.

Also, if their workload is too large and they feel like they’re going to struggle to meet difficult targets, it could ultimately lead to them seeking employment elsewhere.

Reassess the work-life balance

How to manage millennials

The traditional five-day workweek is slowly dying out. This is largely due to the influx of millennial employees.

This tech-savvy generation finds the notion of working 9 – 5 in an office each day unappealing. That’s why the number of Millenials leaving these roles is on the increase.

They are less likely to apply for roles with a model like this in place and are more likely to look elsewhere if they are unable to strike a good work-life balance.

This correlates with research from the Griffith Insurance Education Foundation, which found that millennials would sacrifice their pay for increased time off and the opportunity to work away from the office.

Therefore, offering flexible working opportunities will help ensure your millennial employees stay motivated and continuously engaged with their work.

It’s not all about money

According to research, many millennial workers would rather do a job they genuinely like for less money, than a job they hate for more.

Therefore, ensuring high job satisfaction is vital for making sure millennials stay loyal to your company. While their salary is obviously important, the work incentives you offer should go beyond this and not solely money-based.

For example, offering frequent opportunities for progression could help motivate your staff to work longer and harder.

This follows on from research which found that millennials were less willing to wait three to five years for a promotion. Instead, they would prefer to advance sooner rather than later and are willing to work harder for that opportunity.

Encourage, motivate, inspire

Encourage, motivate, inspire

One of the easiest ways to motivate millennial employees is by simply talking to them. Showing an interest in their work and providing feedback goes a long way!

As mentioned already, millennials enjoy knowing their work is contributing to your organisation’s goals.

By giving them the autonomy to complete their work in their own time, yet also providing them with structured feedback on how to improve, this can help fuel their motivation to produce better results.

It’s simple really – the more you encourage your workers, the more motivated they will be to work for you.

You don’t have to bend over backwards to make life as easy as possible for your millennial employees. But even the smallest of changes could make a big difference.

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