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Millennials Share Secrets of How to Best Engage Them at Work

July 29, 2014

The millennial generation is a rapidly growing sector of the working population. Recent research from Deloitte (News - Alert) shows an expectation that millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, and during the next 11 years, they will bring with them increased demands for various types of employee engagement.

Specifically, a recent article in Fast Company reports that millennials will demand confidence in their leaders, desire jobs that contribute substantially to their chosen industries, and seek a working environment that uses crowdsourcing and collaboration to fuel innovation. The article quotes a manager as saying that "[Millennials] don't want a career; they want an experience." It makes the point of saying that businesses will be pressured to leverage their most precious assets, their employees, in ways they have not had to in the past.

Concerning leadership confidence, millennials have lived through times when there has been economic uncertainty. The Great Recession caused them to look toward leaders they can emulate -- leaders who they can trust and who will not execute layoffs on whims. Trust is something that can be extremely valuable to employees. It can make them work harder and believe in job security, and it costs nothing for managers to implement.

A leader in innovative thinking has been Google (News - Alert). It became popular for its usage of the 80-20 rule where employees were provided time to work on their own projects that benefited the company. Businesses can emulate that sort of thinking and meet the needs of their millennials by awarding them time to pursue business-oriented goals. This personal time can contribute both to employee happiness and corporate innovation.

In addition, business can create entire campaigns that relate to community impact. They can allow employees to take part in company-sponsored volunteer efforts, for instance, or help employees create donation campaigns within which other employees and clients can take part.

Finally, millennials are used to the idea of crowdsourcing, and they will want to take that model and apply it to their daily working lives. They will expect their businesses to allow them to collaborate with several employees at once through advanced crowdsourcing technologies. This can work within individual departments and between related departments. With it, companies can create cultures of collaboration; without it, employees may feel isolated and less willing to innovate.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson
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