On Motivating Millennials

On Motivating Millennials image motivating millenialsOn Motivating MillennialsI hear a lot of different stereotypes about the millennial generation in my conversations with senior leadership from different brands and agencies. The folks in these senior leadership positions are either Generation X or Baby Boomers. Along with those stereotypes and perceptions of the millennial generation comes an expressed concern of how to best motivate this group. A more accurate concern would actually be how to “keep them motivated”. Millennials are already extremely driven and motivated to succeed, they just want to succeed on their own terms.

The perceptions that are typically applied to this generation are as follows…

  • They expect everything right away and aren’t willing to pay their dues
  • They have a sense of entitlement and think they should be rewarded just for showing up
  • They think everything is about them
  • They base everything on how they feel
  • They lack structure and struggle to follow process and policies

However real or perceived the above descriptions may be, the fact remains that this generation is different. As discussed before, this generation has a different approach with different expressions and different expectations.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be successful and don’t want to contribute to enhancing the corporate culture and becoming a valuable team player. They actually want all these things and more. They want the same successes as their Generation X and Baby Boomer colleagues. It may simply require slightly different approaches to keep them motivated within the organization.

Below are 5 areas to consider for keeping millennials motivated:

1. Money – This is the universal motivator. This is obviously not the only one, but this is no different for millennials than any other generation. One way to keep them motivated is to reward their performance, dedication and commitment by showing them the money. They do not expect compensation to be based on age though, but rather on performance and level of contribution. One of the most frustrating phrases they hear is “this is really good money for someone your age”.

2. Instant Feedback – It’s not always about a raise or a promotion. Just tell them how they are doing, good bad or indifferent. This generation has grown up with ongoing feedback and input at every level and stage of his or her life. From the days of IM to comments on their instagram posts, they are accustomed to frequent feedback and expect it.

3. Enhance Social Capital – Social Capital serves as another form of currency to some degree for this generation. In this day and age of social media, this generation has built and evaluated social status by the amount of friends, likes and followers acquired through their social media channels. Allow and encourage them to utilize social media at the workplace in responsible ways that do not compromise the brand values. Blocking or discouraging social media use is discouraging to say the least.

4. Inclusion – This generation is one of inclusion and not only embraces it but expects it. They have a lot to say and want to contribute to the conversation. They value and appreciate the perspectives of their diverse social circles and look to share as much as they want to learn. Include them in the conversations, the planning and the ideation sessions. They see the generational differences as another form of diversity that they are willing and excited to embrace but don’t feel it’s a reciprocal relationship. Let their voice be heard and value their contribution.

5. Empowerment – Millennials have access to a lot of information and they soak it up. This should not be confused with experience or wisdom. Empower them with knowledge that they cannot get from Google based on your experiences. Once you’ve armed them with the right knowledge and insight, trust them to take a shot at leading a project or an assignment. Empowering them with knowledge and trust is one of the biggest motivators you can offer.

Millennials will not do the “what” without first understanding the “why” .

#Millennials  #Motivation  #NoShortcuts

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