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Millennials: How to motivate, manage and retain them in the workplace


Victoria Usher

Published On:

March 29, 2018

Published In:

Advertising & Marketing | GingerMay News | PR and marketing

In two years, millennials will form 50% of the workforce worldwide. Their work ethic, career aspirations, and technological expertise are about to define the culture of the 21st-century workplace. So, from the perspective of a millennial in a global technology communications agency, how can you motivate, manage, and retain this age group?

Motivating Millennials

Millennials are typically attracted to careers that offer flexibility and variety, so keeping this age group motivated can be challenging. Research from GoDaddy found that half of millennials intend to pursue their own ventures during the next 10 years. Until then, millennials are likely to have four job changes by the time they’re 32 and up to five different careers in their lifetime.

An obvious step is to nurture an entrepreneurial environment. Fostering an open and transparent company culture can help millennials to understand how their role contributes to the organisation as a whole. It’s also a good idea to provide millennials with opportunities to be involved in activities outside their day-to-day remit – like networking or new business tasks – to ensure they don’t feel stuck in their post.

Understanding what motivates your workforce overall is a worthwhile exercise. Millennials are typically no longer working to buy a house – many know that they won’t be able to afford a deposit for many years. Instead, most millennials are working for satisfaction. As 75% of millennials don’t feel challenged enough, it’s important to set up a dialogue – both informal, confidential one-to-ones and formal yearly reviews – to structure a two-way street, making the most of your employee’s strengths, interests and aspirations.

Retaining Millennials

When it comes to preserving your millennial workforces, offering flexibility is often the first step. Enabling employees to discuss breaks for further travel and new ventures could ensure a loyal and long-term employee for years to come.

Millennials, alongside other members of your team such as working parents, may also be looking for the option of flexible hours and location. When rolled out as part of a fair scheme across your company, with clear indicators of how to use the system, this could actually become a more efficient way to use your employee’s time. This idea extends to company laptops, mobiles, and general perks. We may all assume that millennials are looking for the ‘Google environment’ – think slides, freebies, and a rainforest room – but smaller companies can still offer desirable perks without going overboard.

It may surprise you that millennials are also looking for stability – almost 90% of millennials surveyed in a study for CNBC said that they would choose to stay in a job for the next 10 years if they knew they would get regular salary reviews and upward career mobility. Regularly reviewing and setting career targets is a good way to approach this. By simply asking millennials what their career ambitions are, your business will scale with strength as it’ll be lead by its people and not just its customers.

Millennials may be the ‘always on’ generation, but to prevent employees burning out remember your team pauses to celebrate even the small wins.

So while we can, let’s press pause on your fast-paced disruptive communications agency life, celebrate the achievements of your team, and hopefully implement a few tips and tricks you learned here.

 Sarah Redman, a Millennial at GingerMay PR By Sarah Redman, Account Manager


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