As we Millennials began to enter the workforce, blogs and magazine simultaneously began to publish articles about the struggles of engaging and retaining Millennial workers. Characterized as lazy, entitled, and self-involved – some going as far as to call us Millennials ‘narcissistic’ – the consensus was that Millennials just think and learn differently and don’t want to be trained and managed in a way that former generations are comfortable with. And you know what? They were both right and wrong. We don’t refuse to adhere to conventions, we have just been educated in an era that taught us to question conventions and find more innovative, better ways of doing things.
We have developed a way of thinking and working that is slightly different, but it doesn’t make it wrong, and in fact, it is this type of thinking and changes in the nature of work that can actually bring your company forward. Ultimately, the way to win us over is to simply help us help you.
Give Us What We Want
First things first, any employee will feel more positively about their place of employment and position if they feel that they are valued and enjoy what they are doing. What Millennials want is to be challenged and motivated by their work, they want to learn and develop, they want to get ahead and be contributing work that really matters to them, and they want to maintain a good work-life balance. By making the job and work environment appealing to us, showing us that there is room for self-directed learning and development, and work that will challenge and motivate us, as well as a good team atmosphere, you set the basis for retaining a higher level of Millennial workers.
Allow Us to Learn Our Way
We grew up educating ourselves through e-tutorials and online classes and workshops. We like to learn in an interactive way, instead of in a stiff lecture format, and we like to be able to learn on our own time. Making training mobile and accessible – for example, giving employees remote access to a training module on a cloud server – so that we can learn wherever and whenever, can significantly improve the training and development process.
Choosing something from these options, with high security and flexible firewall plans, a dynamic cloud server will keep your company data and information safe, while still giving your employees the access that they need.
Ideally, training material should include graphics, video, and interactive components. Being able to sign in to a portal from home or in commute will make the training process more quick and effective, instead of having to be forced to learn within the confines of the office and its hours.
Rethink What Constitutes a Productive Environment
In order for us to feel engaged in our work, we need to be in an environment in which we can think creatively, independently, and where we are encouraged to find our own answers and solutions. Particularly in a role where we need to produce creative work – content writing, marketing, web design, software development, etc. – we need to be able to produce this work in an environment that equally fosters creativity. Sitting at a desk between the required hours of 9-5 can be stifling and very unproductive.
We Millennials tend to view productivity in a new way – that it is based on the amount and quality of work that is produced and not on the strict hours in which it is produced. Allowing for small breaks in order to refuel and spur creativity and being able to work within flexible work hours (as long as we are still fulfilling our 40-hour a week requirement) go a longer way for getting us to produce good-quality, creative work.