“If you want happiness for a lifetime – help the next generation.” – Chinese Proverb
I've spent the last several months talking about communicating with Millennials in the workplace, and hopefully now you have a better understanding of what makes them tick. With that in mind, I'd like to offer some strategies for engaging Millennials, who work a little differently than the current workforce and respond better to certain types of communication.
Consider using these five strategies that are key to their engagement:
- Start strong. Studies suggest that millennial workers decide on the first day whether they will stay with an organization long-term. Engage them at the beginning with a solid understanding of the organization by sharing its history, mission, vision, and values. If Millennials believe in the company and feel aligned with its mission, they will feel instantly connected.
- Encourage and foster creativity. Millennials aren’t shy about wanting an interesting, dynamic, creative and above all, fun working environment. They look for workplaces that have creative communication, open working environments, technology and flexibility.
- Make sure they are challenged. Millennials have high expectations of themselves and aren’t afraid to make mistakes as they learn by doing. Giving them the opportunity to build their experience will pay off in increased capability as it shapes the next generation of leaders.
- Coach, coach, coach. Motivated and open to feedback, Millennials are eager to do well and easy to coach. They want to hear from managers often about their progress throughout the course of the month – or even week. If you catch a millennial regressing, approach that time as an opportunity for learning. They want to know where they can improve to become the star employees they strive to be.
- Chart a career path. Millennials need to know where they fit and where they can advance in the organization. Establish goals and expectations to help them set their sights on career opportunities. Letting Millennials know there is room for them to grow in the organization over time will engage them and help them reach their goals and yours.
Engaging Millennials is all about understanding them, and what makes them tick. The more you know, the more you can leverage their talent and energy.
- David Grossman
Learning the skills to communicate well is not difficult, and is easily accessible to all of us. In fact, it’s relatively easy to acquire in light of the potential and power it can provide you. But with good communication well within reach and so critically important, why in the world are so many of us still so bad at communicating effectively?!