A generational shift is happening in the workplace. About 38% of our working population are part of the millennial generation. Millennials are individuals characterised as those born between 1981 and 1996 – an era with a character of its own.
Because times are changing, our actions and decisions made in the office need to change as well. What you must know as a business owner, executive or manager is that we cannot remain the same way. If we want our businesses to remain competitive, our practices and priorities must change. Especially now with millennials growing in numbers within our organisations.
One of the things that we need to be aware of and adjust to is how today’s millennial workforce is motivated. Without proper motivation, it’s impossible to mobilise people well. Because millennials have different behaviours, their motivations are different in various levels as well. Here are four ways to motivate millennials in your workplace.
1. Mentor, Don’t Micromanage
58% of millennials consider coming under a great boss as an important factor for job satisfaction. With this in mind, we need to provide millennials with coaching and mentorship. Not management, and especially not micromanagement. Millennial professionals are much more motivated when we lead them without micromanaging. So don’t be a manager who tells people what to do. Be a leader who seeks to develop people. Millennials will love that.
2. Let Them Lead
On top of millennials wanting to be led well, many millennials today also want to lead. They focus more on developing a sense of purpose, significance and contribution, which actually make them great leaders. While some of them might need more work and training, executives will be happy to know that many of these driven millennials learn very well on the job as well.
3. Allow Work Flexibility
Today’s millennial workforce greatly values work flexibility. 44% of millennials say their ideal work arrangement would be a flexible schedule; 30% want to work remotely full time. As much as the modern workplace is used to the predictable eight to five, it seems to be diminishing in value with the rise of a new generation. It makes more sense to focus more on the results our millennial workers provide to the company more than the hours they spend working.
4. Focus On Impact
Almost half of the millennials believe that businesses do not have a positive impact on society. And many of them want to change that. Millennials are drawn to socially-driven activities that they feel creates a difference in the lives of others. So a great strategy to motivate them would be to show them the impact your company has on others. You can give them updates on charities you support and positive customer feedback. These are usually great sources of inspiration for your millennial workforce.
Looking Ahead to the Future
Whether we like it or not, the day will come that millennials will take the lead in our companies. If we want our businesses to thrive in the long term, it’s necessary that we build up our millennial workers. The day will come that they will lead, and when that day comes we will either be grateful or regretful of the level of motivation we invested in them. Which would you rather be?