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Apr 09

How to get the most from millennials in your workplace – Birmingham Business Journal

When a company launches a new product, this generation’s decision to buy it, or not buy it, can help spell its phenomenal success, or hasten a quick and sudden death for that product.

In fact, quite often, they will define what becomes “the next big thing.”

And in election seasons, political parties try desperately to court them, to discover just what it is that will bring them to the polls and vote for their candidates of choice.

They are, of course, Millennials, AKA Echo Boomers. Born between 1980 and 1996, members of this generation are influential culturally, politically and economically partly because they are even greater in number than their baby boomer predecessors. But how can managers address the individual and collective identities of this group in the workplace?

Managers who lead multi-generational teams are wise to understand differences in what inspires employee engagement in different generations. Just what is it that builds millennial engagement, and what can managers do to improve the commitment of this group to the organization? A recent Dale Carnegie study uncovered the answers to these questions, surveying 300 of the millennial generation about what makes them willing to perform beyond expectations in their organization.

The research discovered that millennials often feel less valued, and less connected, yet are significantly more likely to be engaged, compared to older non-millennials. The study findings also suggested that millennials have a desire for balance between individualism and loyalty: they strive for individual recognition and a sense of deeper fulfillment.

Interestingly enough, the study showed that millennials who were Dale CarnegieTraining graduates were significantly more engaged in their work.

The study also uncovered that this group values certain workplace attributes, including an environment in which they’re given help or support when needed, and where they receive incentives for higher performance. They prefer a supervisor who communicates openly and honestly, treats them with respect and recognizes their contributions, and takes a sincere interest in their personal lives.

So what can managers do, or put in place, to make a difference engaging millennials, who can be so critical to workplace engagement? Dale Carnegieresearch suggests that managers can:

• Ensure effective communication

• Set an example as an effective communicator

• Offer recognition and positive feedback through rewards

• Keep workers interested by making the work interesting

• Build an environment of friendliness and collaboration

• Provide relevant training and development

Millennial employees are just like any other worker, but like no other generation. They are reflective of broader social realities, but are individually driven by the uniqueness of their identities.

Taking the time to understand what inspires, motivates and engages each person on a team can be instrumental in helping managers to find the programs and training initiatives that will create engagement to drive success at both the individual and the organizational level.

Source: How to get the most from millennials in your workplace – Birmingham Business Journal

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