We see endless rhetoric about how Millennials are different – from the way they work, the way they have fun and they way they use technology to do both at a faster rate than most senior staff members.
We understand millennials have different drivers. So why do so many companies universally apply rewards, incentives and learning programs the same way to all employees?
Most managers are caught in the middle of balancing employee rewards that are commensurate with contribution and budget allowances… never mind they are time poor to consider unique ways of rewarding at the individual level.
With Millennials tipping the balance in the workforce and with 2 in every 3 considering near-term exits from their current employers (Deloitte 2016 Millennials Survey), it’s high time managers got creative with ways to incentivise Millennials more meaningfully.
3 simple ways managers can incentivise Millennials more meaningfully:
1. Link their day-to-day work to the big picture
Millennials have a strong sense of personal values and will make choices about everything from what they buy, where they eat and who they work for based on whether that organisation reflects their values.
Beyond choosing a company based on values reflecting their own they will also choose a boss based on a few specific criteria. They’ll want you to be a mentor, a leader and a friend. The qualities they’ll be looking for from you are support, motivation, expertise and fairness according to a 2013 Hays survey of 1000 Australians aged 18 to 30.
Once they start working for you it is crucial to continually link daily activity to a higher purpose, not just making more money. If you miss this crucial step you can expect a swift exit of millennials within 1-2 years.
2. Create career adventure
This generation love to explore and they will all suffer from Career A.D.D. after 2 years. They’ll want opportunities to travel and try new roles within the same organisation, make it happen.
They’ll want to be involved in high profile projects that have big impact from the get-go. Let them. You’ll find they’re adept at team work and relish a challenge. 70% of Millennials see themselves working independently one day rather than for an organisational structure. Capture and harness that entrepreneurial spirit early and it will pay dividends.
3. Hand over the keys to learning
Millennials want choice, you will need world class learning opportunities in-house. Without that you will not attract them to your organisation in the first place.
Once they’re in, empower individuals to decide their own learning destiny by making it easy for them to also pursue learning opportunities outside your organisation. Anyone who is continuously learning feels more loyal to their organisation.
Interestingly, the recent Deloitte Millennials Survey showed that 71% of those who were likely to leave within the next 1-2 years were unhappy with how their leadership skills are being developed, “50 percent believe their organizations could do more to develop future leaders”. Jim Moffatt, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting – This is a great place to put some focus on, what do you offer internally and what do you recommend externally? How are you helping to guide Millennials in crafting their career path?
In short empower Millennials to have the cognitive space to follow what they are interested in and good at. They will develop mastery where they see purpose. They will see purpose if you link the how to the why.