In 2015, millennials surpassed generation X as the largest generation in the US labor force, totaling at 53.5 million people. More and more business are finding that in order to survive, they need to be more open to this younger generation, and find new ways to attract and retain them. Organizations have begun to understand the differences between millennial upbringing and that of generation x and baby boomers. For example, millennials were the first to be raised in daycare centers, and the first to grow up with unprecedented access to technology. These differences have caused them to have different desires in the workplace, including the following. Here are some suggestions for business owners on engaging millennial professionals for increased productivity:
- Give them trust, autonomy and creative freedom. Millennials crave environments where they are trusted by their supervisors and have freedom and flexibility in decision making. Micro managing millennials is the quickest way to drive them from an organization, because they prefer to learn through trial and error.
- Provide them with feedback. Millennials prefer constructive criticism and appreciate being evaluated. They thrive on being given ownership of their own ideas in order to develop. Whether the feedback is good or bad, managers will need to successfully point their millennial workers in the right direction with transparent communication.
- Be authentic. Millennials tend to have a low tolerance for inauthenticity. They value colleagues that treat each other with respect, and they gravitate toward supervisors who are relatable and accessible. Millennials have a strong desire to feel like a valued member of the team.
- Focus on relationships in the workplace. Having an open office concept over cubicles, hosting social and team building events will help millennials feel more connected to their coworkers, which will in turn improve morale. The Go Game poll found more millennials (79 percent), aged 21 to 30, found "team" or "culture" building activities in their organization significantly helped retain talent, versus only 46 percent of baby boomers (aged 51-60) felt the same. When asked if team building was worth the time and effort, 88 percent of the millennial employees responded positively versus just 76 percent of boomers.