Learn three ways to keep your millennial talent engaged.
- How do you motivate people? You don't. You create conditions where motivated people can excel. Think about your best people. Most of their drive comes from within. Thanks to the self-help movement, people are more in touch with their inner motivations than ever before, especially millennials. Keep in mind, Oprah has been telling us to live our best life since we were two years-old. As a leader, you can create conditions that will bring out the best in your people. Money is a good incentive. Rewarding top performers with additional pay is pretty standard, but there are four other things that bring out the best in your team, and the good news is, they're cheaper, and they matter more to millennials than money.
First, be a good boss. 65% of people would rather have a new boss than a raise. The best incentive you can offer your team is to be a leader who provides feedback, engages with them, and helps them win. Second is flex time. This boundary between life and work has become so fluid. I think about my job all the time, and I devote so much of my out of office brain space to work. If I can't take two hours during the day to take my dog to the vet, it seems a little bit unfair.
There are not caps on creativity. You can't expect your employees to be open to that one a.m. rush of genius if you're not open to the three p.m. doctor's appointment. The past generation created a divide between work and home that shuts down the most critical, thinking, strategic part of your brain. Some of the companies who have attracted the most millennial talent, don't even put limits on vacation time. It sounds crazy, but if you have a high performance culture and clear job expectations, people can self manage.
You can't expect your employees to be big strategic thinkers and have to fit that in to an eight to five time slot. Sometimes work and life bleed together. Third, emphasize personal development. We think about leadership as a personality trait, not just a job trait. We're looking for someone who will develop us. We millennials don't think of education as a check the box and get it done type of thing. For us, school wasn't a bad thing. We like learning and we had a positive experience, and we're often surprised at how much we actually miss it, especially if we're in a job that isn't challenging or strategic.
Offering us a chance to attend seminars or online classes, or even weekend workshops is really valuable. It tells us that you value our personal development. Lastly, one of the most important incentives for millennials is a job with meaning. In a recent study, over half of millennials are willing to take a 15% pay cut to work with a company that matches their ideals. We put value on happiness. Free snacks are nice. Everyone loves a good smoothie, but there's more than that. Money is important, but it's not the end all, be all to millennials like it has been for employees in the past.
Focus on development, time off, and putting meaning in the job.
- Framing the problem
- Interviewing millennials
- Communicating with millennials
- Engaging and retaining millennial talent
- Providing feedback and positive incentives
- Letting millennial employees go