by Jeff Corbin | October 2, 2014

A boss using employee engagement with his millennial work force.

The term “Millennials” isn’t just the latest buzzword. It represents the latest workforce generation. A Deloitte study found that by 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be made up of millennials. Engaging these individuals – born between 1981 and 2000 – has never been more important. Here are a few thoughts on how employers can increase employee engagement among this growing demographic:

  1. Deliver and Encourage Opportunities Outside the Company but within the Industry
    The majority (72%) of millennials surveyed by Culture Amp, a people & culture software company, said their company should enable them to contribute to their field. This means providing opportunities to make a difference beyond the company’s bottom line that can impact the overall industry. For example, Google sponsors hackathons that encourage engineers to flex their coding muscles beyond their daily routine, while other companies encourage general association memberships and participation.
  2. Digital Natives Want Mobile and Digital Options
    Millennials grew up with digital technology. They’ve had smartphones, social networks and wireless internet for as long as they can remember. Companies need to communicate with their employees through the technologies they are used to – this means mobile!  Mobile apps are uniquely positioned to provide a solution for employers to push important information and increase employee engagement through the technology they use most.
  3. Provide More Flexibility
    A study by PwC found that two thirds of millennials would like to have the flexibility to work from home (64%) and the ability to shift work hours (66%). By providing the ability for these individuals to get their work done outside of the typical office setting or a 9-5 schedule may help boost employee affinity and therefore engagement. However, how do you communicate with so many dispersed workers?  Don’t fret – everyone has a mobile device.
  4. Streamline the Information Experience
    Gone are the days where a worker does only one job all day long. Millennials are expected to multi-task and employers need to organize information so that they can do so as easily as possible. To the extent they are on the road, make sure they have the ability to easily access the information they need on their iPhone, iPad or Android mobile device without having to ask for help.
  5. Create a Culture of Transparency from Leadership Down
    For Millennials, it’s not just about finding a company that provides them with a paycheck.  Rather, it’s increasingly becoming about believing in the company they work for, its mission and its leaders. It’s therefore important for companies to make their leaders more accessible and to come up with creative ways to showcase who these people are, what their company’s mission is and its plan for the future.

While traditional and structured business ways have great value and Millennials can certainly learn a lot from their grey haired supervisors, it’s important for companies to take heed of the up and coming generation of professionals. In doing so, it is important that not only the right polices be in place, but that the proper tools, communications and opportunities exist so as to create stronger workforce connections and employee engagement.

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