5 ways to keep a millennial workforce highly engaged


In the contemporary business world, a lot of discussions transpire around millennials. There is no denying the fact that millennials are going to be at the epicenter of the corporate world in the coming years. To validate, as per TeamStage, millennials will account for 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025. 

Given the zeal, digital literacy, and innovation that millennials carry, it is certainly a positive transition. Millennials do have what it takes to drive positive transformations. However, there is also something concerning about a millennial workforce. 

Millennials also happen to be the least engaged working generation. In fact, not more than 30 percent of millennial workers are engaged. As a business leader, this is where a major challenge lies for you to get the best out of millennial talents. 

For sure, you would be looking forward to creating a strong millennial workforce to succeed in your organization’s ambitions. Amid this paradigm demographic shift in the modern workplace, you will need exceptional millennial talents at all levels. However, high rates of disengagement among this generation can hurt business growth. 

With the increasing prevalence of millennials, this is something you should look to address effectively. Your business strategic planning has to be inclusive of specific millennial engagement strategies. But what does it actually take to drive high engagement in a millennial workforce?

In this blog, we will find effective answers to this question. This blog elucidates the most actionable approaches that can cultivate high engagement in a millennial workforce. As a leader, these strategies are vital for you to know as you will be dealing with a lot more millennials in the near future. So, let us get started without further ado. 

Actionable strategies to boost millennial engagement

  1. Providing enriching learning experiences

What do you think is the greatest expectation that millennials have from their jobs? If you ask them, they want to advance in their careers in a cruising manner. Having said that, workplace learning and development is one of their top priorities. To substantiate, as per Lorman, almost 90 percent of millennials feel that workplace learning is paramount. 

Their engagement is the highest when they see their organizations invest in their careers with enriching learning experiences. Besides, as a leader, you want your employees to constantly upskill and reskill themselves so that they can add value to the organization. Therefore, optimizing employee learning experiences will certainly be a win-win scenario for all.

Thanks to technology, today, you can offer highly immersing learning experiences to your employees. With corporate e-learning solutions like Learning Management Systems (LMS), gamified learning, augmented reality and so on, you can create incredible learning experiences. Especially in the contemporary corporate world going increasingly remote, these technologies hold immense significance. 

Therefore, in these learning technologies, you will find enormous potential to foster high engagement. Your employees would love to be a part of such improvised learning and will feel highly valued. After all, who would not feel valued when they get such great career development opportunities?

Millennials are incredibly tech-savvy and they have a great rapport with technological advancements. Having said that, innovative learning methodologies offering high flexibility will certainly keep them excited. 

Besides technology, thoughtful mentoring programs can also work well to enhance learning experiences. This explains why more than 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies have mentoring programs. You can identify which skills or qualities millennials usually lack and mentoring programs can be created accordingly. Mentoring is certainly the new highlight of contemporary motivational theories.

Employees will be able to associate a great sense of association with the organization when their careers benefit from mentoring. With meticulous mentoring programs especially aimed at millennials, you can encourage high motivation in them. Also, the trust factor is much higher in mentor-mentee relationships when compared to employer-employee arrangements. 

This trust will enable better working relationships which are indispensable for high engagement. To validate, as per Harvard Business Review, in high trust companies, workers exhibit 76 percent higher engagement. 

Moreover, employees in high trust companies turn out to be 50 percent more productive and their job satisfaction is 29 percent higher. That is exactly what you expect from your outstanding millennial talents, right? 

The bottom line is that millennials want to scale new heights in their careers in a rather exponential way. Given that, they are quite open to learning and look forward to practical learning experiences. 

As long as an organization succeeds in offering that, millennials will respond with high engagement and retention. Otherwise, you may soon see your top millennial talents looking to switch. So, the need of the hour is to invest in the right learning technologies and introduce thoughtful mentoring programs.  

  1. Promoting continuous feedback mechanisms

The expectations of millennials from their workplace are not limited to appreciation and recognition. They also want to be at the receiving end of regular feedback from their superiors to stay engaged.

As a business leader or HR manager, it is vital for you to know that millennials are highly receptive to feedback. They want to embrace continuous self-improvement to add more credibility to their professional capabilities. Having said that, they expect their managers to share more frequent feedback.

To substantiate, as per Gallup, not more than 20 percent of millennials report that they receive regular and meaningful feedback from their superiors. This could very well be a major reason for high disengagement rates among millennials. Even if we look at it generally, as per Hubspot more than 90 percent of employees will feel disengaged in the absence of feedback from managers.

Therefore, when you look at it from the perspective of performance management, continuous feedback sharing is vital. When feedback sharing in the workplace is more frequent, it will promote a natural learning environment. There will be optimized knowledge sharing and instructions can be forwarded in real-time to offer a sense of direction to millennials.

Consequently, they will learn faster and will feel a strong sense of belonging. All in all, with a regular feedback sharing mechanism, you can upscale engagement in an incredible way. Besides, even in a remote organization, you can easily promote regular feedback sharing with internal communication tools. 

With millennials taking a leading role in the workplace, feedback sharing certainly holds the key to high engagement.

  1. Encouraging a larger purpose

It is interesting to note that millennials take great pride in working for purpose-driven organizations. They are willing to put their hearts and souls into working for an organization that looks beyond profitability.

To substantiate, as per Forbes, 83 percent of millennials state that they will work with greater engagement and loyalty for a purpose-driven business. They want their organizations to help them contribute positively to society and the environment. Further, as per a millennial survey, more than 40 percent of employees prefer to work for sustainable companies. 

In fact, more than 60 percent of millennials would refuse a job offer from a company that does not endorse CSR responsibilities. These insights clearly state that purpose is a massive motivator for millennials. Millennials are sensitive to social and environmental issues and expect their workplaces to care for the same.

Having said that, to drive high engagement in your millennial talents, you need to promote great values and purpose in the workplace. When you align a larger purpose to your business objectives, your millennial workforce will feel encouraged. In the pursuit to make a positive difference, they will engage with greater zeal.

For that, you will have to clearly communicate company values on a daily basis and reinforce them in the workplace each day. You have to persuade your millennial workforce into believing that the organization is genuinely purpose-driven.  

  1. Embracing flexible working arrangements

It is an undeniable fact that in the modern workplace, flexibility has become an essential virtue. Ever since remote working cultures started thriving, flexibility has become a popular expectation among employees. Speaking of the millennial generation, in particular, flexible work arrangements are salient to their engagement.

To elucidate, as per Deloitte, 70 percent of millennials believe that flexible work arrangements can help them in improving work-life balance. They are happier to work on the go while they explore other dimensions of life. It is not really a generation that is tailored for 9 to 5 job setups. Henceforth, flexibility is a key determinant for their engagement and retention. 

You can foster greater engagement in your millennial workforce when you offer them the desired flexibility. This flexibility needs to be offered in terms of deadlines, working styles, and the choice of the tools.

In fact, flexibility will also promote a greater sense of affection between the employees and the organization. Your millennial employees will feel more optimistic when you offer greater scope for the right balance in terms of flexible work arrangements. They will hence respond with greater commitment, satisfaction, and motivation. Eventually, flexibility will make way for higher engagement.

  1. Offering vital leadership opportunities 

Another outside-the-box approach to driving high engagement in millennials is to offer them adequate leadership opportunities. Millennials love to take the lead and want to be known as initiators. Hence, offering them adequate leadership opportunities can be a great way to sustain their engagement. 

In fact, as per GoRemotely, around 70 percent of millennials feel that there aren’t enough leadership development opportunities in the workplace. This could be another reason for low engagement levels among millennials. However, you can address the same by creating an environment that emancipates employees’ leadership potential.

Furthermore, leadership opportunities need not necessarily be in the form of promotions. You can create multiple leadership opportunities in other ways. For instance, you can ask them to lead important workplace discussions. On similar lines, you can ask them to lead the preparations for the office party or come up with creative ideas for other purposes. 

Every time you empower them to initiate, it will encourage greater confidence among them. This confidence will further translate into greater zeal for contributing to the success of the company. Who does not want to prove their leadership capabilities after all? 

Offer some out-of-the-way leadership opportunities to your millennial talents and see the engagement levels shoot up! Let’s see how creative you can get with creating leadership opportunities for your millennial workforce. 

To encapsulate, there is no denying the fact that millennial engagement will define the overall workplace engagement levels in the years to come. This is for the simple reason that millennials will soon represent more than 80 percent of the global workforce. Having said that, for organizations, it is now essential to devise millennial-centric engagement strategies. In accomplishing this, the above ways can certainly add enormous value.

About The Author:

Jessica Robinson loves to write interesting and knowledgeable blogs regarding business management, education and life to satiate the curiosity of her lovely readers. Currently, she is serving as a content manager at the ‘Speaking Polymath’. Every piece of content that she writes demonstrates her immense love and passion for her profession.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-robinson10/
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Email: jessica@thespeakingpolymath.com

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