The key to motivating Millennials is far less labor intensive than the generations before them. If an employer tries to motivate their Millennial employees, those employees will, by their own nature, want to investigate and validate the employer’s proposed incentives. This will kill any chance for real motivation.
Because Millennials are the product of the Information Age, they are motivated by the process of discovery and the ability to grow at their own pace, which tends to be far more rapid than their predecessors. Here are three very simple ways you can create a motivated Millennial workforce:
Work to uncover your employees’ true needs:
Although Millennials need money like everyone else, they are far more interested in meaningful work and participation rather than menial work and compensation. Money is a means to an end and a superficial motivator for Millennials. Once a more engaging opportunity arises, they will usually take it regardless of your monetary counter-offer.
Allow them to create their role in the organization:
They will certainly get bored with their role at some point. Rather than giving them the option to fit their assigned role or find a new company, allow them to discover the areas they are most passionate about when applied to the organization. This again puts the burden of “quality” on the employees, allowing them to take direct ownership over the quality of their role in the company. This is a good practice to continually apply. They cannot say they are leaving because they are unhappy with their role in the organization when they created that role themselves.
Encourage strategic input from your employees:
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Millennials have something to say about well…everything. This should be seen as a positive. Millennials have lots of ideas and some may be the innovative solution you didn’t know you were looking for. Millennials are looking for a challenge. Challenge them to envision the long-term success of the organization and you will be delighted with the outcome both from their input and their increased engagement around the office.
Stop spending countless hours and wasted energy on trying to figure out what will make your employees happy. Take that energy and create the environment that will allow your team to flourish and contribute to the overall success of the organization. At the end of the day it’s up to them to be happy.
Oh, and age has little to do with that.