The best way to engage your population is to know what motivates them. Different generations are motivated and engaged by different things. Our newest generation in the workforce, the millennials, are changing the rules of employee engagement.
Our millennials have earned a demanding reputation for wanting more and wanting it now! As much as we might bash this attitude, the fact is some of us may have created it. The parents and teachers of this generation have taught them that everyone is a winner and they can do anything they want if they just put their minds to it. Although in school this may have been the case, in the workforce it isn’t quite that simple.
I came across this blog on LinkedIn today about managing millennials. It makes a ton of sense- the workplace is much different today than it was for past generations. For instance, job security in our economic recession is no longer the norm and work doesn’t stay at the office due to modern technology. With this being said, we must leverage our millennials expectations with reality.
The fact is millennials have a whole different approach to work. They want jobs that have value and purpose, not just a paycheck. Millennials don’t see the need to go into an office from 8-5 when they can work from anywhere in the world and at any minute of the day thanks to Wi-Fi, smartphones, and clouds. Millennials are innovators and are turned off by old school rules and regulations. Rules only hold them back. They want to be challenged. They have ideas and want to be heard.
So maybe it’s us? Maybe our millennials have it figured out. Are we are stuck in the past? Are there better ways to do what we have been doing for years? Sure, change can be scary and uncertain. But what would happen if we loosened up a bit, allowed a more flexible work environment, and gave our millennials the freedom to innovate? As a gen X, who has done everything possible to stay current with technology and the contemporary workplace, I can see the millennial’s shift in thinking and what value they bring to our businesses. After all, economic change isn’t slowing down. It is moving at lightening speed. We must change the way we view the workplace to engage and motivate our talent. It is time to get on board or we are going to get left behind.