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engaging millennials

How to Create a Powerful Millennial Team

July 29th, 2019

Engaging Millennials at Work

As an HR Consultant and payroll services provider, we all know what it’s like to work with a multi-generational workforce, but now, more than ever, the differences between those generations are apparent and sometimes, with more and more digital natives becoming mid and senior-level employees within the workforce, knowing how to work with those differences is critical to engaging millennials and tapping into this wonderful generation of workers. Millennials aren’t going anywhere, and what they bring to the table is impressive, if it’s understood and utilized correctly. How do you tap into the power that millennials offer? Here are a few ideas to help transform the way you work with millennials.

Give Them Autonomy

Many millennials have grown up in an environment that encouraged independence and in a society that has set them up to work hard, but in a way that feels good to them. Offering autonomy to a millennial team is far more likely to increase productivity. They may not be most productive during “typical” work hours, but if you have the ability to offer flex or remote hours, or a combination of the two, you may be surprised at how positively your younger workforce responds to such offerings.

Trust Their Skills

One of the fastest ways to get on the bad side of a millennial is to imply that their generation has an impact on how valuable their skills are. When many of them entered the workforce, they knew they were fighting an uphill battle. They entered a very competitive environment and were often underpaid and overworked, being expected to wear many hats and receive very little in an economy that was demanding more and more of their earnings at every turn. Because of this, many millennials take trust and their diverse skillsets very seriously. You hired them, right? You wouldn’t have done that if you didn’t believe in their ability to do the work. In order to encourage and engage your millennial team members, offer them that trust in spades. Allow them to take the lead on a project where you think their skills would shine, don’t hover when they’re working on a big project, and don’t ask to review every step of the way. Trust them, and they will not only be loyal, but they will put their tremendous work ethic to good use in helping your organization move forward.

Allow for Innovation

Here’s the thing – millennials like to try new things. They like to optimize systems and shake things up. They are constantly looking for new ways to do things that either streamline workflows or add new creativity and authenticity into offerings, deliverables, client/customer interfaces, and more. If you’re not open to the innovation they may offer, you’ll have dissatisfied millennials on your hand in short order. Innovation shouldn’t be reserved for upper management and executive team members. Some of the best ideas that will have the biggest impact on your organization’s growth may very well come from your millennials. They’re well-versed in creative problem solving, which makes them perfect idea-generators for your team.

Don’t Generalize

Millennials may be one of the most over-generalized generations in history. They have been fodder for catch articles across media outlets for a long time now, but just like every generation before and after them, they are made up of millions of individuals. Each individual will have different needs, learn and work in different ways, and bring a different set of skills, strengths, weaknesses, and desires to the table. If you need one tip engaging millennials (and members of your team from other generations, too) that will work no matter what, it’s this: listen to them individually. Listen to what motivates them and what shuts them down. Listen, and don’t generalize.

Millennials are now firmly in the workforce, and that won’t be changing until they all start retiring, so understanding the different ways in which they work and what they value most will help you create an environment that not only attracts top millennial talent but inspires loyalty in it as well. Hint: It’s not all ping pong tables and kegerators. Millennials are looking for heartfelt values, a certain amount of workplace freedom, and the encouragement and trust from their leaders that makes them excited to come into the office every single day and work toward a company mission that resonates with them deeply. If you can achieve that, you’ll have your pick of talent for years to come.