The term Millennials is making the headlines more often than not in 2016. Why? Because, Millennials, or Generation Y, already make up more than half of the workforce and, in less than a decade, will account for three quarters of all UK workers.
You’ve probably read that Gen-Y are lazy, distracted, expect too much, and want everything instantly. We’ve started to talk about Millennials as if they’re a new kind of human species. However, take a step back and they’re actually very much like the rest of us. Yes they might expect more from their employer, and yes they might be a little impatient as they’ve been bought up with fast technology; yet, as the world changes, we all adapt, therefore other generations in the workplace will want similar things too.
A recent report, The Rewards Report, from Red Letter Days For Business shows that nearly half (42%) of Gen-Y were not rewarded by their employer in 2015. The most rewarded age groups last year were 25-34 year olds (77% were rewarded) and 35-44 year olds (69% were rewarded). This low recognition figure for Generation Y is worrying and shows employers are not engaging correctly and effectively with young workers.
The Millennial workforce are our workforce of the future and if they do not have good managers to learn crucial recognition and engagement skills from, then the next generation of managers we can expect in our workplace is of a concern.
Recent research from Red Letter Days For Business reveals what this generation find motivating and want they want from their employer:
This generation thrive off flexibility. Perks such as being given the option to work from home or in the office will boost their drive, and more importantly, their productivity.
Red Letter Days for Business’ 'What’s killing UK productivity' report (September 2015) reveals that when 18-24 year olds work from home a quarter said they would work eight to nine hours, compared to seven hours when in the office.
2. To be listened to
Empower employees to make their own rules. Sit them down and listen to them about what would make them value the employer they work for.
No company can implement everything. But if you can implement a few changes it will push their engagement levels up – as well as other generations in your workforce too.
3. Have a good work/life balance
When Millennials taking part in Red Letter Days For Business’ Employee Motivation report (January 2016) were asked what they wanted from their employer in 2016 extra annual leave (18%) and flexi-time (13%) ranked in the top five things, scoring higher than a promotion (8%).
4. To learn
Learning new skills plays a huge part in someone’s engagement levels while at work. The Employee Motivation report shows that 25-34 and 35-44 year olds were the most motivated by far at work last year. Why? Because these age groups are most likely to be working their way up the career ladder and learning new skills along the way. The report also reveals that staff who are highly engaged and driven experience four motivational moments while with their employer: they achieve, they are challenged, they gain knowledge, and they’re recognised.
5. A manager who says thank you
Finally, when you do have a millennial employee who is doing a good job, make sure they realise it by personally thanking them. Despite many of us thinking this generation want something for nothing, they’re actually very much like the rest of us and a thank you will go a long way.
In fact when Gen-Y were asked for The Rewards Report research what rewards they wanted from their employer in 2016, a verbal thank you from a manager ranked at third place (19%), not too far behind overtime pay in second place (21%), with cash bonus out in front in first place (40%).