Engaging Millennial Employees – Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Engaging millennial employees is as intense as ever. Employee engagement is hitting an all-time low. As per a report by the Gallup Organisation, an American consultancy company has revealed that the whopping price of poor employee engagement is between $450 and $550 billion. That’s how much businesses are losing right now on a staggering level due to poor employee engagement.

I was born on Christmas Day of ’86, so technically I fall into the senior end of the millennial spectrum. My lifestyle and habits such as being obsessed with social media, being on phone all the time or playing PUBG, on the contrary, do not justify me as an ideal cohort of Generation Y. However, I still have the privilege of experiencing the birth of the Internet and its rapid upsurge in my pre-teen years. Hence, I would say I’m qualified to talk about how to engage millennials at work. Continue reading!

There are already thousands of articles published online, after all, we’re a popular topic, no pun intended. There are surveys by the experts all over the Internet about why we’re so disengaged and the best reason behind our job change. There are also several thoughtful articles about what really matters to us. They also suggest on how employers can take strategic initiatives in their digital transformation expedition so as to appeal to our enigmatic dispositions. You know, I wouldn’t be even surprised if there’s a department dedicated to engaging millennial employees in business consultancy firms.

That being said, here is a disclaimer – I can bet my sizeable collection of Griffin Travel Power Bank (ridiculously expensive though) that most of the articles you’ve read including one of our earlier posts weren’t even written by actual millennials. Here is the real scoop by an actual Generation Y comrade. 

Engaging millennial employees – Demystifying the millennial mindset

One of the major reasons why everyone is so much curious about discussing millennial engagement at work is they form a major part of the total workforce globally. As per a survey made in 2017, 35% of the American workforces were millennial employees. 56 millions of people aged between 21 and 36 were either working or looking for a job. While some experts believe this age group makes the ideal employees, it’s purely up to the employers to carve the most out of these smart people. The survey also reveals only 29% of this young group are engaged at work. Another reason is we, the Net Generation cohorts had more freedom unlike our parents to make our own decisions. And there were tools and resources to support them. With the advent of the Internet, we were on the precipice of the greatest paradigm technological shift in human history. The world which was changing rapidly was in our hands! This is why we are among the most free-thinking, innovative and adaptable generations to date. 

However, being a free thinker has its own perks and downfalls alike. While we are the least conflicted about our work, on the other hand, we expect a healthy work-life balance as well. We love our independence and flexibility and are incited by constructive feedback. It can be a really challenging task for employers to create engaging millennial employees. By failing to establish employee experience, employers start losing their potential workforces, who have no qualms of quitting for better opportunities. The millennial employees start looking out for organizations who have a far great workplace culture flanked by overtly satisfying company perks.

5 proven strategies for attracting millennials and retaining them

  1. Blending work and life with perks 

A Chicago-based company, Basecamp pays for their employees’ hobbies and for their groceries (fruits and vegetables) at home. Johnson & Johnson provides a concierge service to run errands and make arrangements such as standing in long queues for concert and game tickets.

2. Making perks an experience 

Over 70% of global thought leaders agree that by engaging millennial employees, they are able to make the overall employee experience a success. While Yahoo provides its employees with corporate outings like concerts and backyard barbecues, New Belgium Brewing Company employees receive a one-week trip to Belgium after completing five years with the company. 

“70% of Generation Y employees say some of their best memories are from an event or live experience they attended or participated in. Companies have a unique opportunity to win Millennial affinity by delivering an unforgettable experience.”

3. Perks that appeal and help in engaging millennial employees 

Companies which offer work flexibilities and remote working options are more successful in retaining millennial talents than that follow traditional work shifts. 

                Want to retain talents? Let them work from home

92% of the young employees across the world desire the option to work remotely. As per a survey done by Ernst & Young with 9,700 young global workers, it was found out that flexibility and remote working beat out just about all other job perks—including health insurance for some younger workers.

I’ve culled through some of the online statistics to offer some of the most interesting stats about remote work –

  • Remote work boosts productivity
  • It drives employee efficiency
  • It boosts morale by reducing stress
  • It dramatically reduces organizations’ costs and overhead
  • It boosts employee engagement
  • It meets the expectations and successfully engages millennial employees

4. Perks aligning with company culture and values

The first factor that helps in engaging millennial employees is understanding their organizations’ culture and values. 

Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix had this to say,

“Perks are designed to make people happier at work, but you’re not accomplishing anything just by giving people more stuff.” 

While Pandora, the music streaming company, offers free in-office concerts to its employees, Burton, a snowboarding outfitter company, provides its staff the day off to hit the slopes if there is snowfall of two feet in 24 hours.

5. Highlighting the inherent perks 

71% of the Net Gen workforce are unhappy with how their skills are being developed and are likely to quit their jobs in the next two years. If engaging millennial employees is one of your major objectives, make it a consistent priority. This you can do by revamping your existing Intranet into a new-age digital workplace, integrating eLearning software and training your employees based on their tasks and responsibilities. In this way, you not only retain your talents but allow them to connect and collaborate with brilliant people from your organization. By engaging them, you let them build products and services that add value to overall your business growth. 

Bonus point – Leveraging the greatest perk 

The greatest perk in engaging millennial employees is by letting them know you value them the most. 

Trust me – Millennials are your new BFFs

Image source: greatplacetowork.com

Most of the online articles have already painted us as feeble-minded people who are impossible to be engaged, but that’s not the reality. At the end of the day, we just want our contribution to be more meaningful and that we go to bed with a feeling that our day was productive and our efforts were acknowledged. When our expectations are met, results do show up.

One such organization that greatly recognizes the potential of its workforce and has succeeded in engaging millennial employees is Sparkwork. Apart from being a knowledge-sharing hub where learning is consistent, the organization provides tech-forward perks like the bleeding edge digital workplace and the Learning Management System. They offer remote working options. They hold weekly online meetings with their scattered workforce and listen to their requirements and innovate solutions to boost efficiency through employee engagement. 

If your organization also offers something like mine, do share your experiences. You can reach out to us here.