Want to engage millennials? Act small
Employee engagement is a cornerstone of employee retention. People with a high level of job satisfaction are more productive, and contribute positively to a company’s bottom line. And yet, Forbes recently noted that only 29% of millennials feel engaged in their current job. This is significantly lower than other generations, and millennials are an increasingly large percentage of the total working population. However, millennials are passionate, entrepreneurial and driven. What is the key to unlocking their interest?
Encouraging an intrapreneurial spirit
One way to harness the power of millennials is to foster an intrapreneurial company culture. The increased ownership and accountability helps people understand that they are a contributing member of the team rather than one number among many. Creating small teams and operating as a startup within the larger organization gives people broader responsibilities, more autonomy and more control over their own productivity. Small teams also provide more opportunities for recognition. In industries that require a lot of time, effort, and complex thinking, recognition is an important motivator.
Another important step that benefits multiple generations is to create a culture of open feedback to let people suggest contrarian ideas without being criticized for rocking the boat or suggesting large improvements to the status quo.
Perhaps one of the best ways to encourage an intrapreneur is to ask them to take ownership of projects that utilize millennials strengths and passions such as corporate social responsibility. Our society is realizing the benefits of embracing clean tech, and we also now know that volunteer work can help people form deep bonds and a profound sense of community. Another perk: incorporating a mindfulness practice into the work day can directly increase productivity, camaraderie, and mutual respect of coworkers.
The stress of increased work interruption after traditional business hours in an increasingly global and digital world has precipitated a shift in the employee landscape in favor of work life balance – or work life sanity. Thinking about all of our colleagues as individual people working together for a common goal rather than a group of people whose personal needs diverge from company interests is a good baseline to foster employee and employer alignment.