Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. Yet, many companies still struggle to engage their millennial team members in a meaningful and effective way.
This essential demographic has different motivations than the other four generations that companies may be working with. Consequently, identifying how to hold onto and support valuable millennial employees can be quite a challenge.
Thankfully, there’s a considerable amount of research on what matters most to this generation, and companies can utilize this data to ensure they’re successfully supporting millennial team members.
8 Tips for Fostering a Better Millennial Work Environment
1. Recognize Millennials’ Altruistic Motives
Millennials are highly driven by their motivation to make the world a better place, and according to Deloitte research, they tend to feel the most influential at their jobs. Subsequently, they feel they can make the most substantial positive societal impacts at work and opt to look for employers who offer them an outlet to express their altruistic motivations.
Acknowledging this and providing a platform and channel for philanthropy will result in higher satisfaction from millennials. Companies that support volunteering, have an inspiring philanthropic mission or show millennials the positive impacts of their jobs will have a much easier time engaging, managing and keeping them for a substantial amount of time.
2. Take Time to Show Up for Millennials in Their Personal Lives
“Being treated like a person” is one of the top five determiners of millennial employee engagement. In other words, if millennials don’t feel like their leaders care about them as human beings, they’re much less likely to feel engaged.
More than any previous generation, millennials want leadership to invest in their life outside of work. Great Place to Work’s surveys show that millennials appreciate it when their seniors take stock in their personal lives. A simple check-in on the family or acknowledging their outside accolades can go a long way towards showing millennials they’re cared about as people.
3. Provide Regular Feedback and Recognition for Accomplishments
At least 42% of millennials want feedback at least once a week on their job performance, so they can gauge how their boss feels about their work and adjust. Others feel there’s plenty of negative feedback but not enough acknowledgment of what they’re doing right. In fact, 50% of millennials and Generation Zs surveyed say their leadership team fails to recognize strong job performance.
79% agree that an increase in recognition benefits would increase their loyalty to their company and help them feel more appreciated. Custom lifestyle benefits are one of the best ways to provide ongoing recognition and feedback to millennial employees.
4. Offer a Clear Path Forward
An astonishing 87% of millennials say career growth opportunities are essential qualities in a job. Research shows millennials want to learn, hone their skills, develop in their jobs and don’t want to stagnate too long.
Managers should consider having frequent conversations about career growth with their millennial employees and provide coaching, development and training for those who want it. Doing so keeps them engaged, motivated and excited about growing with their companies.
5. Be Flexible on the Rules and Firm on the Results
Millennials get a bad reputation for being lazy, but it’s often because their values are different from older generations. Older generations (Baby Boomers and Gen Xers) value processes and structure. However, according to the data, millennials value results more than the path it takes to get them.
In other words, millennials aren’t fond of following a particular process for getting from point A to point B, but they do care a great deal about getting the desired outcomes. Leaders who avoid micromanaging and allow flexibility in the process tend to see a more engaged and productive millennial team.
6. Prioritize Transparent Communication
Millennials value transparency from their leaders, and they’re more likely to stay with a company that fosters a culture of trust. Millennials want to know how and why their company operates the way it does and why they’re asked to do the things they are.
A crucial component to fostering millennial success at work is to be as candid as possible about things like job requirements, feedback, expectations, company goals, etc. Millennials don’t prescribe to the “ignorance is bliss” motto, and they don’t necessarily need cookie-cutter answers, either. They value and seek out straightforward, honest communication from their leaders.
7. Provide an Environment That Promotes a Work-Life Balance
6 out of 10 millennials say work-life balance is “very important” in a job. A separate study found that most millennials pursue companies that provide a healthy work-life balance over higher-paying jobs. In fact, on average, millennials are willing to take a $7,600 pay cut if it means increasing their quality of life.
Leaders who find ways to support their team while encouraging a work-life balance will have an easier time fostering a better millennial work environment. Discouraging after-hour work emails, offering remote work options and finding other ways to promote a life outside of work are viable ways to foster an environment that supports a work-life balance.
8. Offer Customized Lifestyle Benefits
There’s no shortage of research purporting to know what benefits millennials want. However, no studies seem to agree. It appears millennials all want very different benefits depending on their current place in life. Millennials are a generation of people who value their individuality and unique personhood, so it makes sense that, when it comes to benefits, one-size can’t and shouldn’t be expected to fit everyone.
Since millennials appreciate flexibility, it’s no surprise they also value customized benefits, but it’s not just millennials. 88% of all employees appreciate the opportunity to customize their lifestyle benefits.
Most importantly, customizable fringe benefits can enhance the lives of members of all five workplace generations. With customizable benefits selected by the individual, everything is personalized, so that everyone doesn’t have to have the same benefits. Customizable fringe benefits provide workers with what they really need, no matter their age or ethnography. It’s no question that companies offering customized lifestyle benefits have an easier time supporting their people.
Use These Tips To Create a More Effective Millennial Team
Research confirms that millennials aren’t a grand mystery after all. They simply want a lot of the same things every person wants:
A purposeful work environment
Regular feedback from team leaders and management
Opportunities to grow with companies that care about them
Recognition for a job well done
Unlike previous generations, millennials aren’t looking for their superiors to be problemsolvers. They want to feel supported in an environment where they can solve their own problems and be recognized when they do. If companies can provide flexibility and offer regular feedback and recognition, managing millennials in the workplace is possible and rewarding.
Want to do a better job at fostering millennial success? Fringe’s personalized lifestyle benefits are suited for any and every individual team member, no matter their generation. Schedule an obligation-free demo today.