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Do Millennial Engagement Tactics Really Differ That Much?

Do Millennial Engagement Tactics Really Differ That Much?
Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014 by Businessolver Team
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Millennials have been called a lot of things – entitled, immature, trophy generation, etc. The words may differ slightly, but the sentiment about a younger generation entering the workforce is probably not that much different than how Boomers felt about Gen Xers entering the workforce (after all, Gen Xers didn’t have to learn how to walk uphill both ways in the snow to the office like the former generation!).

So the question is: Do Millennial engagement tactics really differ that much from other generations?

It’s true that Millennials will represent a significant part of the global workforce by 2020, but does that mean they require unique engagement strategies?

millennials

Graph courtesy of Gigaom Research

In our humble opinion, each generation brings a unique set of values, skills and experiences to the workforce. HR needs to focus on harnessing everyone’s engagement – not just Millennials’ engagement.

MAKE IT UNIVERSAL BY MAKING IT INDIVIDUAL

Create an engagement strategy that fits everyone by making it unique to individuals. Wait, what? Make it universal by making it individual? Yes, that’s what we said!

We believe that people want to give their best and, in return, feel good about their efforts. Any engagement strategy should focus on employees as people – each with a different set of needs, wants, hopes and dreams. Applying a one-size-fits-all “Millennial engagement strategy” to all Millennials may actually have the opposite effect for those Millennials who don’t possess all of the typical generational characteristics. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all strategy…even within generations.

ENGAGEMENT IS EMPOWERMENT

Here’s what a successful engagement strategy does:

1) It empowers management at all levels. Engagement strategies should not be reserved for HR corner offices. How can HR alone deploy an effective strategy to all employees if they don’t have everyday interactions with them? Managers know their employees best – or at least they should. Managers should be empowered by HR and the C-Suite to make decisions and do things that benefit and engage their employees on a more personal level.

2) It helps employees understand their unique value to the company. People want to know they are a valued asset to the company. After all, if employees don’t feel valued and don’t understand how they fit into the bigger picture, why would they want to stay? It’s not just Millennials that want to be told they’re valued – everyone wants to know they are contributors to the success of the company.

3) It is a way to communicate openly and honestly about the company’s strategies and goals. What are we all working towards? By understanding implicitly the company’s focus, employees can be assured that what they are working on matters and adds value to their team and the company.

THE ONE THING: Engagement tactics need to be universal and individualized for team needs – not just for a specific generation’s needs.