Motivate Millennial Employees by Making Work Meaningful

Motivate Millennial Employees by Making Work Meaningful Employers often complain that “millennials aren’t motivated.” While millennial employees may be motivated by different things than their Gen X and baby boomer colleagues, getting them excited about their jobs and spurring them to give their best isn’t as hard as you may think. As a leader, learning what can motivate millennials will help you earn their trust and ensure a more productive workplace.

This week, I’ve collected several articles that can help you motivate millennial employees and make them valuable contributors to your workforce.

5 Ways for Boomer Managers to Motivate Millennial Workers. Entrepreneur: “Designate an ‘open door’ policy where millennials feel welcome to ask questions. Don’t be surprised if they appreciate your sterling advice as well as your constructive criticism. Frequent feedback keeps them on track and increases their feeling of being valued. Many were raised by parents who valued their opinions and instilled in them the self-determination to achieve high goals. Tap into their inquisitiveness and give them projects that will foster their creativity.”

3 Ways Employers Can Engage Millennials at Work. Fortune: “Employers need to provide ongoing, online learning that is engaging and valuable to this new workforce. Millennial employees are ‘screenagers,’ born and raised online. These digital natives value meaningful online experiences—experiences that many Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) cannot offer through a filmed lecture. Instead, employers should be looking at how an online learning platform can facilitate expert-led, problem-specific learning rather than static, dry lectures or lessons. Technology matters in today’s world and workplace—millennials are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters of technology than are older generations, and they also stand out when it comes to producing and uploading online content.”

What Millennial Employees Really Want. Fast Company: “I recommend companies empower millennials by offering co-leadership opportunities. Give young talent a chance to manage, develop a new project that excites them, and is of strategic importance. Pair the millennial project-lead with a senior executive, or someone with 15-plus years of experience. This not only makes a young staff member feel valued by their company, it gives them the opportunity to learn directly from a mentor. It also builds on the assumption while experienced staff have something to teach millennials, they also have something to teach their more senior colleagues. When it comes to technology and social media—or marketing, design, and customer experience—the person with the most innovative idea in the room may happen to be the youngest.”

This Is How Top Companies Keep Millennial Employees Engaged. YFS Magazine: “For Gen Y, money is no longer the shiny new object for career fulfillment. As Fortune writer Adam Miller explains, ‘Millennials view the workplace through the same lens of new technology as any other aspect of their lives: instant, open and limitless. The era they have grown up in has shown them that nothing is a guarantee. Instability and rapid change are the norm. To millennials, time no longer equals money. It is a limited resource to be spent wisely and actively managed.’ More often than not, the prominent reason for employees to stay with a company is culture. So, instead, we must focus on perks, communication and other workplace aspects that make working enjoyable.”

Motivating and Maintaining Millennials. Texas CEO Magazine: “Generation Y wants to be a part of something, invested in something, engaged in building something. This is not just a paycheck for them. They are founders, focused on career building only when it’s purpose-driven. It’s certainly not the ‘climb the corporate ladder and BMW at 40’ group of the generation before them. This peer group thrives on a shared vision for the future and knowing they’re being developed, grown and groomed for great things. Millennials must see a higher purpose than the bottom line. To demonstrate purpose over profit, constantly be talking about the future and describe for them what it looks like and where they will be in that future.”

How do you motivate millennial employees? I’d love to know — please share in the comments!

Lindsey Pollak is a New York Times best-selling author and a nationally recognized millennial expert who helps employers recruit, train, manage and market to the millennial generation. Her speeches and training sessions inspire multigenerational collaboration and foster lasting organizational success. Contact Lindsey to learn how she can help your organization understand and connect with millennials.

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Lindsey is a globally recognized career and workplace expert and the leading voice on generational diversity. She has spoken for more than 300 audiences including Google, Goldman Sachs, Estee Lauder, Stanford and Wharton. Lindsey is the author of four career and workplace advice books, and her insights have appeared in media outlets including The TODAY Show, CNBC, NPR, the Harvard Business Review and the Wall Street Journal.


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