Do you have Millennial employees at your business? If not, you could be missing out. Millennial employees (born between 1982 and 2000, give or take a few years) bring many benefits to your business. They’re energetic and enthusiastic, are fluent in technology and have lower salary expectations than more experienced workers. How can you attract Millennial employees to your workplace and integrate them into your team? Try these 10 tips.
- Understand their expectations. Know what Millennial employees hope to gain from working for you. Chances are, Millennials will make that clear during the job interview—but if they don’t, ask them.
- Challenge them. Millennials want to make a difference in their jobs from the get-go. Encourage that enthusiasm by assigning them challenging projects from the start, and adding more responsibility as they learn.
- Define tasks and goals. It may seem contradictory, but while Millennials enjoy independence, they also grew up with “helicopter parents,” teachers and coaches micromanaging their lives. Be crystal clear when assigning tasks. Set incremental deadlines and check in regularly to review progress.
- Provide ongoing feedback. An annual performance review isn’t enough for Millennials, who want to hear how they’re doing—both good and bad—on an ongoing basis. This may be a more hands-on approach than you’re used to with older employees, but it’s essential for Millennials to thrive.
- Offer flexibility. Millennials expect work-life balance, and view working remotely and flexible hours as essentials, not extras. Bonus: Offering these options not only attracts and retains Millennials, but pleases older employees, too.
- Provide continuing education. Millennials want to improve at their jobs. Sign them up for webinars or seminars in their areas of interest; send them to conferences and events to learn from more experienced peers; or simply provide on-the-job training and education.
- Match them with a mentor. Millennials welcome mentorships, and pairing a Millennial employee with an older, more experienced worker benefits both of them. It also cements bonds, which can help eliminate generational misunderstandings at work.
- Tailor benefits and rewards to their interests. Millennials may be less interested in benefits like dental insurance and more interested in perks like continuing education. In a 2011 PriceWaterhouse Coopers survey, the majority of Millennials said they would like to customize their benefits.
- Let them BYOD. (That means “bring your own device.”) Tech-savvy Millennials often prefer to use their own laptops, cellphones or tablets for work instead of a company-issued device. This can save you money; just make sure devices are secure and sensitive information isn’t compromised.
- Use their social skills. In the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 56 percent of Millennials said they wouldn’t work for a company that banned social media in the workplace—or they’d sneak around the policy. Instead of shutting down Facebook or Twitter on the job, enlist Millennials’ social media expertise to enhance your company’s online presence.
Rieva Lesonsky is founder and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Before launching her business, she was Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva, read her blog at SmallBizDaily.com, and visit her website SmallBizTrendCast to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for free TrendCast reports.