Millennials want to work in an environment that is an extension of their social connections. They want collaborative environments with teamwork to be the norm. They want to work in what they call a “fun” workplace that provides a unique experience. For instance, putting a juice bar in the lunchroom may sound far-fetched or frivolous, but organizations must be creative and innovative to capture their interest and add that special something to create the social engagement component they desire and expect.
They expect professional development and training, coupled with the opportunity to move ahead swiftly. They are ambitious and want to move up—or they’ll move out. They will not stick around if they don’t see things moving as quickly or as focused on them as they would like.
Their managers need to be involved in their learning and to respond if they see a lack of motivation. One way to keep them engaged is to offer more challenging work. Millennials are coming into positions highly educated and culturally diverse. Organizations need to offer intergenerational education to create strong bonds among the Millennials and their Boomer and Gen X residents and coworkers. Allow the generations to learn with and from one another and to work
Establish a corporate university. Add your current trainings and combine any other assessment tools, skills training, product introductions, etc., and brand them to your organization. Give the university a name and make it part of your organization’s corporate culture. When you require all employees to go through the university, leaders can be sure training is consistent across the board. Once an employee has completed the core training, issue a diploma. As you add advanced courses, you can use a leaderboard to recognize their progress through higher levels of trainings.
Technology is their language, so give your millennial employees the technology they need to be part of an organization that values current technological systems and makes them feel at home. If it takes updating your archaic internal processing systems to engage this generation, you are on the right track. Ultimately, it will create more efficiencies in the process; just go ask them.
Significant and meaningful work is important to Millennials. They want purpose. Their generation is socially and environmentally responsible. They want to discuss issues and expect to be a part of the solutions. Social media has promised them that anything is possible, and they want to be part of great things that affect people and the world. They want to work in teams and collaborate on critical issues. They want to be viewed as important members who add value to the organization’s bottom line, regardless of their position.