In this – part four of our series decoding the Wicked Millennial Problem – it’s time to talk carrots. In part one we attempted to understand Millennials. In part two we looked at how to recruit Millennials. In part three we explored challenges facing Millennials. Now, we delver deeper into what drives them to work harder and better. Here’s our top five ways to motivate Millennials:
Millennials were raised rarely being told “because I said so.” On average, slightly older parents gave slightly more complex answers. As a result, Millennials ask “why” a lot, and they expect a good answer. Here’s the thing – you probably know why, you’re just perturbed by the notion that they feel entitled to the answer. When you give it to them, however, you’ll find that feeling part of a bigger vision will drive them to perform even better in the workplace.
Millennials are highly motivated by awards that offer instant gratification, and they appreciate the sense of choice in deciding that reward. This is not only easy to do, but often much cheaper than traditional workplace incentive programs. Whether it’s an opportunity to do some community service or a way to temporarily improve their work-life balance, get creative and think beyond a bonus.
Millennials see the path to success as a puzzle that they just need to solve. In doing so, they’re chomping at the bit for regular opportunities to grow personally and professionally through interactions with people who are further along in their careers than they are. Develop formal and informal methods through which regular learning, support and development avenues open up to them, perhaps even in the form of a game.
Feeling tied down is perhaps the quickest way to lose a Millennial. They genuinely believe that they can “have it all” and that has emerged as the most common “life goal.” The easiest way to help them achieve this is by offering at least partially flexible hours. The ability to pursue fitness goals, community goals and social goals isn’t something resigned to weekend and after hours for them. Plus, this can be a huge positive for you in terms of servicing different time zones (with early and late hour options) and becoming enveloped into the fabric of their lives as opposed to 9 to 5 Monday to Friday.
Being socially conscious isn’t something Millennials are “coming to.” It’s ingrained in their very being. In fact, more Millennials prioritize helping others over a high-paying career. Be respectful of that and use it to build lasting bonds with your organisation. If employees are associating their employer with access to community service opportunities that’s a positive link that will absolutely be beneficial long-term.
AKCG is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, global workforce that loves wicked problems like decoding the values, passions and struggles of an entire generation. This article is part of a series we’re writing about the Wicked Millennial Workforce Problem.
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