Four tips to engage and retain the millennial employee

Millennial talent can often present a challenge for management. With a reputation for job-hopping and having less company loyalty, millennials can seem hard to retain or motivate. But this challenge often comes from a deep misunderstanding between millennial employees and management.

Here are four management tips to engage and motivate your millennial workforce.

#1 Explain the big picture

Millennials have a desire to understand how their work fits in the grand scheme of how an organisation works. As a result, giving them isolated tasks devoid of context can be extremely demotivating. Spending five minutes to explain how a certain project fits as a piece of the puzzle can go a long way. This small effort can pay off by increasing employee dedication.

#2 Give a sense of meaning

“Why are we doing what we are doing?”, “Why are certain things done in one way rather than another?”, “What is the larger purpose we are serving?”. These can seem like trivial questions but among the ones that millennials are asking themselves. Providing the answer to these questions can inject a higher sense of purpose and connect employees to a company’s mission for the long-term.

#3 Allow ownership

No matter how small or big a task is, allowing a sense of ownership is crucial. It can increase both responsibility and pride in doing a job well. Millennials feel empowered when allowed to make a piece of work their own and mastering the skills to deliver it. This does not have to be at odds with directing an employee but simply giving them the opportunity to have agency over their work.

#4 Balance guidance and autonomy

Having the patience to share your knowledge with a millennial employee can quickly create a genuine bond. At the same time, leaving space for improvisation and autonomy can create a trustworthy working relationship that supports millennial employees to flourish.

The key to engaging and retaining the millennial workforce is not always found in investing huge amounts of money and time. It is more often about practicing some day-to-day behaviours that foster a stimulating and positive work environment.

I am a coach and trusted advisor to driven and gifted people who feel there’s an inkling of rebellion in them. I help them create more fulfilment and reduce stress in their work and careers, on their terms. Connect with me here:

Coach — Career and Work Transformation | PhD Researcher | Facilitator

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