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8 foolproof ways to engage millennial employees
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7 min read

8 foolproof ways to engage millennial employees

Win your younger employees over! Check out these tips and tricks to keep your millennial coworkers happy and productive in the workplace.

The corporate realm is undergoing some swift and overwhelming changes, and we’ve all been a witness to it. In this revamped business world, organizations are also laying a lot of emphasis on hiring millennials and younger employees. Most organizations now have exclusive strategies for retaining millennial workers and keeping them actively engaged. 

Millennial employees are in sky-high demand 

Why are companies so keen on investing in millennials? What makes organizations believe that engaging and retaining millennials is salient? The realigned focus of enterprises on millennial hiring and being innovative with strategies to engage them tells an intriguing tale of the modern working world. 

You may feel that Gen Y folks will hold the key to business success in the future. Well, that’s not the case anymore with Gen Zs and Millenials taking over. The findings of Inc. conclude that millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025. Now that’s a whopping proportion of workers coming from a single generation, isn’t it? Here’s the catch—not more than 30% of millennials are engaged in their jobs as per Gallup.  

This explains why businesses are going out of the way to engage their millennial employees. No doubt millennials have expectations of an ideal employee experience, which shows us just how much we need to focus on tackling those disengagement and attrition rates. Let’s take a look at what employers can do to keep their top-notch millennial talents engaged.  


Worthwhile strategies for driving high millennial engagement  


1. Investing in company culture 

Millennials are quite particular about what they expect from their workplaces. Among these specific preferences, company culture is of utmost importance. These employees love to be a part of dynamic and vibrant work cultures that celebrate the virtues of diversity and inclusion.

Moreover, they want their organizations to have a thriving environment of positive relationships, mutual trust, collaboration, competitive wages, wellness, and respectfulness with previous generations.

The key to managing millennials is to allow them to authentically express themselves in the workplace through their ideas and opinions. If they don’t find the liberty to do so, they tend to disengage which may further translate into their resignations. As an employer, you need to penetrate into the thought process of millennials and create a culture that inspires the best in them.

Remember, employees are 24% more likely to quit their jobs if they are dissatisfied with their company’s culture.

Actionable tip: Hold activities around sustainability and corporate social responsibilities that reinforce the company’s core values, like beach cleaning initiatives. 


2. Creating learning and development prospects

Learning and development are important to the engagement of all employees irrespective of generation. Speaking of millennials, they’re more particular about their learning opportunities than baby boomers, and this is crucial to recruit and retain them. 

Compared to older generations, millennials are open to learning and building competitive skills to progress in their career. As cited by Docebo, almost 50% of millennial workers would want to quit their jobs due to a lack of learning opportunities.

Here, we’re not talking about onboarding and orientation training modules. Learning has to be an everyday virtue in the workplace coming in different forms such as leadership and communication workshops. 

Actionable tip: Give your millennial workers access to skill-building courses and apps where they can learn and develop skills of their own choice as per their interests, goals, and job roles.

3. Reinforcing core values in the workplace

Millennials believe in strong core values and principles that they’re uncompromising about. As per Glass and Company, 75% of millennial workers disengage or quit if they see their organizations not laying emphasis on anything beyond their own good. It’s therefore vital for businesses to promote generous and responsible values in the workplace.

These values include sustainability, integrity, corporate social responsibilities, and employee well-being. In fact, as per Swytch, 70% of millennial workers say that their company’s outlook on sustainability affects their engagement and retention. Making your business value-oriented is your best chance to drive high engagement in your millennial workforce.   

Actionable tip: Millennials love to receive feedback, learning from valuable suggestions and teachings. A robust mechanism of continuous feedback will be a great idea to retain your top millennial talents. 


4. Cultivating empathy in the workplace


The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and the toll it took on the world has reinforced the need for empathy. The grip of the pandemic has made people emotionally vulnerable in addition to the already overwhelming work stress they battle each day. Empathy is more desirable in the workplace than it has ever been. 

The State of Workplace Empathy 2021 report explains that for more than 72% of employees, empathy is a key motivator driving high engagement. Also, 84% of CEOs are of the opinion that empathy is pivotal to greater business success. It’s also true that millennials need better emotional and mental wellness support to manage their negative emotions and cope with stress. 

Actionable tip: Your younger employees will appreciate mental wellness, telemedicine, and financial wellness programs that are up and running in their organizations. We can’t stress enough that they’re looking for organizations that looks after their wellness and promotes stress management. 


5. Delegating authority to millennials

Granting autonomy is an excellent business strategy with multifaceted benefits ranging from time management to promoting a sense of belonging in the workplace. It’s hard to believe it remains such an underutilized business strategy! When you delegate authority and responsibilities to your millennial workers, you’ll see stronger trust and positive working relationships. Delegation is in fact, one of the most practical ways for trust-building in the workplace.

Your millennial workers will be delighted when you trust them with greater responsibilities. It’ll give them practical exposure to tasks, and of course, assert their impact on the organization. For them, getting more authority will be a sign of professional growth inspiring greater commitment and involvement. To add, they will feel valued and will be more reassured of their assertiveness in the workplace. All these factors will add to their engagement levels in an incredible way! 

Actionable tip: Admittedly a more out-there solution, but consider letting millennials mentor older employees on technology, latest trends, and skills for the future. This can be quite an innovative strategy for engaging and retaining millennials. 


6. Offering flexibility and autonomy 

Flexibility is the new normal in this overhauled business world that is known for fascinating freelancing jobs, hybrid teams, and remote project management. Clearly, telecommuting is the future of work, and brick-and-mortar offices may soon become rare. In this thriving culture of remote work, millennials seek greater flexibility in working styles and working hours. 

As per FlexJobs, almost 80% of workers are more eager to find jobs that offer great flexibility in deadlines and working styles. Most millennials are of the view that flexibility, like working from home, attracts the highest productivity in them. 

Millennials also seek autonomy in terms of doing things in their own way and choosing the tools or software of their own choice for greater productivity. 

Actionable tip: Change up the perks sometimes. How about having a small houseplant for their desk at home? Indoor plants have proven benefits in terms of inspiring greater productivity and creative intellect.


7. Recognizing effort and not only achievements 

For employees of all interests and generations, recognition is and will always remain paramount to their motivation and engagement. As revealed by HubSpot, 69% of employees assert that they will work with greater diligence upon receiving appropriate appreciation. Having said that, organizations should not limit their recognition policy to accomplishments. There needs to be a thriving culture that also appreciates effort, persistence, and work ethics. 

Speaking of the millennials’ quest for recognition, DaVinci Payments shared that around 80% of millennials say that their loyalty towards their organizations can be much greater if they attain the right amount of recognition. To engage millennials, you ought to celebrate your people and their valuable contributions to the organization.

Appreciation works as one of the most impactful motivators, and the best part is that a pat on the back of your employees costs nothing! Let celebration be an underlining feature of the company and don’t hold back from giving credits wherever due. 

Actionable tip: Send surprise meals or delivery app credits to your remote millennial workers whenever they achieve their targets or set fine examples for others to follow. You’ll be surprised how much they skip on meals during the workday. 


8. Investing in state-of-the-art technological innovations 

Businesses are getting smarter each day with stellar technological innovations and tools. Are you making sure that your organization is keeping up? In this virtual working world, it's imperative to facilitate your employees with efficient communication, collaboration, project management, and other tools. When employees don't get the right tools, it can be a reason for them to disengage. 

In fact, you may not believe but as per Zapier, 16% of millennials tend to disengage and quit when they're not provided the right digital tools for work. Having said that, it becomes quintessential to invest in the right technology and upgrading it whenever feasible. From productivity to engagement, technology is driving major changes you must look to leverage.

Actionable tip: Make sure you introduce your new recruits openly so everyone’s familiar with them! Or add a shout-out on your company’s social media—this can be a great idea to engage a generation so obsessed with technology.  


Engaging millennial employees means learning what they value most

Millennials are uncompromising about what they want from their professional lives and workplaces. They’re a generation that come with strong values, tech savy-ness, smart problem-solving abilities, and the incessant quest for empowerment. You can’t hold them back in bounds and expect them to perform. To inspire the best engagement in them, you need to redesign the work environment keeping in view their interests. This is for the simple reason that millennials hold the key to the future of your business. 



Find out everything you need to know about engaging Gen Z employees.

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Jessica Robinson

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