How Millennials Impact Employee Engagement
July 24, 2013 2 Comments
An employee engagement opportunity is upon us and we have two options:
- Take advantage of this opportunity to increase corporate profitability, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction and employee loyalty.
- Hold onto our old ways and try to force… basically a square peg in a round hole?
For organizations to be successful, one important part of the equation is to find and keep individuals who consistently give maximum contribution. Employees from all generations including Millennials will perform “consistently well” if they “Feel” consistently motivated and appreciated. Force is not an option; force will only make your workforce quit – or if they can’t quit… they will stay and check-out which is worse. This is worse because you are still paying them, their productivity drops and they will likely develop (and share), attitudes that negatively impact everyone else.
For years employee motivation has been straight forward – Baby Boomers have worked with other Boomers… people who have all similar work/life values and approaches. For the most part they value hard work, paying your dues, good salaries, hierarchy and time in the office. Even when Generation Xers (roughly 2/3 the population size of Boomers), showed up things remained OK. Why? Because while Gen Xer values and approaches are different from Boomers (and Gen X did push certain employee engagement boundaries), they are also a very resourceful population and quickly figured out how to work in a Boomer dominated world.
Now Millennials are entering the workforce… and this is the opportunity… or the threat. Millennials or Generation Y are ambitions, well educated and have always been encouraged by their Baby Boomer and Generation X parents to strive for more, be creative, learn and not settle… especially if it goes against what they think they want (and we’ve told them they can have anything). Millennials are also roughly the same population size of Boomers. And according to Time Magazine, by 2025 three out of four workers worldwide will be Millennials.
How To Positively Impact Employee Engagement?
The expanding Millennial workplace population share similar values and approaches, but each of them are on their own unique path to success. Therefore a group Employee Engagement Survey isn’t going to work. Employee engagement is not one size fits all anymore. We have to:
- Meet our employees demographic profile
- Respect their communication style
- Meet their individual, unique needs that to satisfy their unique path to success.
Improved employee engagement, productivity and group success means consciously taking advantage of (and mentoring/rewarding), the natural strengths of each team member. When we understand communication styles and values we are able to:
- Accommodate different approaches to work, recognition and problem solving
- Better align team members expectations and supervisor requirements
- Improve individual and group creativity and productivity
It’s only when their employer consistently meets their values and personal goals, these Millennials will consistently demonstrate employee engagement and employee loyalty.
This process doesn’t mean tones of work – in fact in the long run it can mean less work and cost vs. training and retraining employees that get frustrated and quit. To have your employees want to consistently give maximum contribution, managers need to have one-on-one conversations… treating them as individuals and consistently addressing their personal and professional goals (including Gen X and Boomers).
For Millennials this means consistently addressing employee engagement goals that are important to them including travel, flexibility, continuous learning, self-expression and knowing how their work impacts the bigger picture.
When your team members understand their own and each others communication, mentoring and reward preferences, they can then focus on where they can add the most value based on talent, interest and individual / corporate need. The result is greater employee engagement, better team dynamics and productivity, greater employee loyalty resulting in lower turnover, and fewer conflicts to resolve.
Employee engagement; Develop Your Human Capital to Boost Growth and Efficiency.
Every workforce is fluid so employee engagement is something we have to work on every day – it will be part of daily meetings, feedback sessions, planning, project management, brainstorming sessions, and compensation and performance reviews – everything.
Addressing the needs of your multigenerational workforce will catapult employee engagement and performance in a way that will lead to individual and corporate success.
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