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The secrets behind motivating Millennials

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It is well-documented that Millennials are frequent job hoppers and less committed to work than previous generations.

In fact, a 2015 Gallup Poll  found only 28.9% Millennials said they are engaged at work, the least engaged across all generations.

Addressing the problem, many reports have pointed out that providing Millennials with work-life balance might help increase their retention rates as they care a great deal about spending time with family and friends.

But this perk alone is not enough to keep them motivated,  according to Unlocking Millennial Talent 2015, a white paper by the Center for Generational Kinetics and Barnum Financial Group.

The paper reported that 60% of Millennials believe a sense of purpose is part of the reason they chose to work at their current employer.

This means bosses should consider organising activities for employees that make them feel like they are contributing in a meaningful way, the paper added.

One good example is the “ecomagination nation” initiative at GE’s Power & Water business where employees worldwide participated in community volunteer activities to reduce carbon emission and water use.

This programme wasn’t specifically targeted at Millennials, but it does successfully drive the passion for connection with the greater good that Millennials value.

ALSO READ: Why your Millennials are leaving you

Millennials are also more keen to hear from their boss about their performance than any other generations.

A study by Ultimate Software reported that 42% of Millennials want feedback every week—more than twice the percentage of every other generation.  Supervisors should consider spending more time discussing with  Millennials on where they are on their jobs.

Besides this, it might also help to consider that Millennials are digital natives.

They were first to experience a wireless, connected world, and according to a PwC report, they “expect the technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace.”

This means they expect to use social networking, instant messaging, video-on-demand, blogs, and wikis in the workplace.

Managers should consider making use of tools like Yammer, Jive, Chatter, and Slack—along with the big social networks, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to communicate and exchange ideas with Millennials as a way to get them engaged.

Moving away from traditional career ladder is another adjustment that management should consider making.

ALSO READ: 5 unconventional ways to attract and retain Millennials

“Millennials expect to work in communities of mutual interest and passion – not structured hierarchies,”  as quoted by Vineet Nayar, former chief executive officer of HCL Technologies Ltd in the PwC annual CEO report.

Millennials value key growth opportunities that allow development of new skills and knowledge, growth that is not necessarily related to climbing up the career ladder.

Businesses need to promote assignments that create continuous learning for employees by allowing them to solve important problems for the company.

As the Millennial generation comprises more and more of the workforce, forward thinking companies should put these factors into account when creating their HR policies.

This will determine how successful firms will be in retaining these future leaders.

Image: Shutterstock

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Asia's only regional HR print and digital media brand.
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