Motivating Millennial Workers

Motivating Millennials

Generation Y, (also known as the Millennials), is hard-working and quick to learn, and so will be a vital and enthusiastic part of your work force. The trick is to acknowledge the different approach most Generation Y workers will take to their jobs, and develop ways of inspiring them that will be different to how older staff members are motivated.

Generation Y grew up with rapidly developing technology and fast-paced action-based films. As such, long attention span is not something Generation Y can boast in general. Shorter and more frequent tasks will suit Gen Y workers better than longer projects, and a series of goals and objectives should be outlined for employees to work towards. Generation Y is au fait with a wide spectrum of technologies, and so will be capable of learning new software programmes incredibly fast, so give these workers a big pile of smaller tasks, and they will learn how to deal with them efficiently using the tools at their disposal.

A flexible work-life balance is a desire at the heart of Generation Y, so allowing Gen Y employees to structure their working days around their out-of-work life – within reason – might well be a key way of motivating them. They generally prefer longer working days but use their time very efficiently, so perhaps every now and then letting them schedule their working hours themselves will prove very motivational.

It is often said that Generation Y is not very loyal, moving about between companies and jobs far more frequently than other generations. However, the more accurate analysis would be that Generation Y is always looking for job satisfaction and ways of progressing. To retain Gen Y staff, show them how they can seek to develop and progress within the company, and what they can strive to if they consistently prove themselves in those small but frequent tasks. This will give them an attainable but challenging goal, and push them to achieve their best. If a Millennial employee shows particular skill in one aspect of their work, try to establish with them some way in which you can develop that skill into something valuable for the company, and see if there is opportunity to move up the company ladder through their burgeoning talents. This will cater to the somewhat self-focused nature of Generation Y and use it to the company’s benefit.

Feedback is vital for pushing Generation Y to develop. Millennials are always seeking comments, reviews, and suggestions for how to improve, especially if they have that attainable goal of progression in mind. What is sometimes called ‘needy’ can actually be read as keen and eager to advance their capabilities, so scheduling frequent review meetings with Gen Y staff will provide opportunity for them to receive the feedback they crave, and for management staff to determine where their employee’s skills and aspirations lie. This will encourage the workers to iron out any creases in their work ethic or performance, and senior management can learn what talents each staff member can bring to the company as a whole.

Generation Y generally likes to be seen as an individual, deserving of attention specific to them. Senior management can use this to the company’s advantage, learning about each employee as a unique member of the team, and establishing which leadership approach will suit them best. This may seem fussy and over-complicated, but since Generation Y is the largest and most rapidly-growing demographic within the workforce in many countries, it seems that companies will have to cater more and more to the peculiarities of the Millennials. Taking the extra minute or two in one-on-one meetings to learn a bit more about employees as individuals will strengthen the bond between management and staff, developing a rapport – something that Generation Y looks for in a healthy working environment.

The more personable senior management can be with employees, the more relaxed the Gen Y staff will be, and therefore they will be more motivated to perform well for their bosses because of their increased respect and regard for them. A few nice words and ‘how are you’s go a long way with Gen Y, and managing staff members will come to find as this work force increases that a one-size-fits-all approach will no longer be sufficient to encourage. One worker will prefer early morning starts, finishing work by lunch to go to the gym, whereas another might prefer the standard working hours, but with a couple of hours in the middle out of the office; the style that Millennials favour will differ vastly between individuals. Not everyone will appreciate the professional/personal distinctions being blurred, but the Millennials find it creates an atmosphere in which they can thrive.

 

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