Learn How to Engage the Next Generation

By Megan Lhamon, NWFA

According to the US Census Bureau, the largest generation in the US is no longer Baby Boomers. The Millennials, those ranging in age from 16-34, now represent more than 25% of the US population, totaling more than 83 million people descending upon the workforce. [1]

As employers, it’s important to understand that Millennials have different motivations in the workplace than previous generations. Knowing what those are, and making them a part of your corporate culture, can help you attract and retain this technically savvy workforce.

1. Socialization and Connectedness

Millennials want to connect with others and share experiences, including those they work with.

Tip: Create a warm and welcoming workplace with friendly employees who enjoy getting to know each other, brainstorming together, and helping one another achieve personal and business goals. Engage your employees in team building activities to encourage a collaborative atmosphere.

2. Career Development

Millennials may not yet know where their careers will take them, and may be hesitant to commit to one path.

Tip: Provide opportunities for growth through continuing education and employee development workshops. Encouraging employees to expand their knowledge, learn new skills, and develop as individuals helps them feel inspired and free to explore growth opportunities within their profession.

3. Flexibility

Millennials are extremely motivated to achieve a successful work/life balance, and want to be able to do so without feeling guilt.

Tip: Foster an environment where flexible work schedules and taking time off to pursue personal passions are the norm. Making these kinds of pursuits a priority will establish an atmosphere of trust and creativity.

Just like the generations that came before them, Millennials want to feel valued and appreciated in the workplace, but they also want to work with people they enjoy being around and who take an interest in them. As employers, it’s important to show your employees that you care about them and their goals, no matter what their age demographic. Creating a work environment that embraces and appreciates all employees will ensure a strong team for generations to come.

[1] References: http://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-113.html

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