The workforce demographics are shifting rapidly. Millennials are on the cusp of overtaking baby boomers as the largest living generation, with sizable Generation Z (born after 1997) is close behind. Soon, millennials and Gen Z will make up a considerable chunk of the American workforce. Is your company prepared?
For business leaders tasked with leading teams of talent, achieving business success in the future will depend on being able to recruit the best young talent. It will also depend on being able to effectively motivate, develop, and engage with them so they reach their full potential and bring your company maximum value.
Here are some key ways your business can engage with the younger generation of employees.
Solicit Their Opinions
It’s a sound strategy to encourage all your employees to voice their opinions and ideas, but you especially want to solicit the views of your younger employees. Millennials want to feel valued. Going to them for their ideas is an excellent way to show them they’re appreciated. Your young employees understand that not all of their ideas will be run up the ladder and implemented, but so long as their suggestions are thoughtfully heard and considered, they’ll feel valued and remain committed to helping your company grow.
Related to their desire to feel valued, young employees also want to know where they stand. Some employees have a knack for identifying growth areas through self-assessment, but most employees require a little guidance. By providing your younger employees with clear and transparent feedback about their performance, you’re giving them a firm understanding of the things they’re doing well, and the areas where they need to improve to achieve their personal and business goals.
Recognize Their Successes
Everyone likes to be acknowledged on a job well done, and your young employees are no different. You don’t want to caudle your younger employees and patronize them, but by making the effort to recognize them when they’re doing a good job will affirm to them that their hard work is not going unnoticed. To really make them feel appreciated, recognize their successes during company events or in company newsletters.
Clearly Defined Goals and Expectations
Your young workers want to have measurable goals to strive towards, with clear expectations for how to reach them. You don’t want to assume that your employees will know exactly what you expect from them. Communicate your expectations and guidelines, and then make sure you’re checking in on their progress.
By having regular status updates with your employees, you can talk through how they’re working towards their goals and provide them with any feedback and information they need to reach them. The last thing you want is to discover that they didn’t have a clear idea of what was required when it’s too late.
Show Them You Care
It may sound simplistic but taking the occasional five minutes to ask your younger employees how they’re doing can go a long way. Ask them about matters outside of work. Family, hobbies, interests—taking the time to demonstrate to your employees that you care about them as people will make them feel valued. If they feel valued, they’re going to be more committed to your company and be willing to go the extra mile in the work they do for you.
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