5 Tips for Engaging Millennials in the Workplace

how to engage millennialsLast week, we wrote about how millennial employees can help your business succeed. In that article, we also mentioned a few stereotypes about millennials (“…they’re lazy, they can’t be managed; they’re selfish.”) But before the Boomer eye-rolling begins, consider this: according to recent research by ADT, one million Millennials enter the workforce each year. By 2020, 40% of the workforce will be composed of Millennials. By 2025, it will be up to 75%.

As the saying goes, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” And with these numbers, you can’t beat them.

So let’s stop whining about “nobody let me get away with that” (while secretly wishing somebody had). Let’s get on with figuring out what to do with these Millennials so that we can make the most of their good points.

It’s not their fault, but the ADT study found that 56% of their respondents (including the Millennials in the survey) admit that Millennials don’t have the skills they need to be successful in the workforce.

So here are five ways you can help millennials get up to par:

  1. Millennials Need Soft Skills Training

While Millennials are technologically savvy, they lack skills such as communication, listening, patience, leadership, and relationship building.

  1. Millennials Need Leadership Development 

Millennials seek out companies that offer growth and opportunities, but Just under half of survey respondents said that Millennials are promoted before they are ready for the challenge. Leadership training programs (especially those targeted at Millennials) are a great solution.

  1. Millennials Need Informal Learning

Millennials do not do well with formal training approaches. So if you want to get the best out of your Millennial employees, offer informal, on-the-job training opportunities. Along with clear performance expectations and plenty of feedback, this should bring them along quickly.

  1. Millennials Need Job Rotation

On average, Millennials stay at a job only one to two years, compared with five years for Gen Xers and seven for Baby Boomers. If you want to keep your Millennial employees longer, consider job rotation programs. Letting them learn new skills while getting a new perspective will also make them more valuable to you.

  1. Millennials Need a Strong Company Culture

Millennials, impatient with structure and hierarchy, fully expect to have more impact on corporate culture than corporate culture will have on them. A well-defined and consistent corporate culture will help keep Millennial employees feeling they are working for a purpose where their work is valued.

Millennials bring their set of needs to the workplace. They also bring talent, innovation, and energy. In other words, Millennials are the future of the workforce; let’s make the most of the opportunity.

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