Working With Millennials in the Workplace


If you’ve done any reading on millennials, you know the definition seems to vary depending on who is talking about this particular audience. Despite popular belief, the term doesn’t cover people born after the new millennium. Instead, it describes people who were growing up during the new millennium. Recently, the Pew Research Center defined millennials as anyone born between 1981 and 1996. The trailing edge of this generational cohort is now in their early twenties, which means that most workplaces have at least one millennial.

Does this change anything? Let’s explore the idea today!

Perks, Perks, Perks?

Often, people refer to millennials as individuals who only work at companies that provide them with perks, but this isn’t exactly true. While millennials certainly are interested in perks, it isn’t something that will keep them at a company. Instead, millennials care about culture. In fact, some will go as far as saying that work should be an extension of their homes. Since they spend the majority of their waking hours at work, they want a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment.

Support and Encouragement

Like the rest of us, millennials are in search for the best jobs in America. If you work with a millennial, especially if you’re in charge of their induction into the company, we highly recommend offering a training buddy. By pairing them with somebody suited to this sort of task, they have someone who will answer their questions, check on their progress and ensure their first couple of weeks go smoothly. It can be tough entering a workplace where everybody is familiar with one another. A training buddy eases this transition.

Provide Opportunities

If you have millennials in the workplace, there needs to be opportunities for them to grow. These days, it isn’t enough to just earn money and put dinner on the table. Instead, workers want to develop their skill set, grow as an employee and have a chance to climb their chosen career ladder. According to many sources, a lack of training is one of the top reasons millennials get unsettled.

Offer Feedback

In a similar vein, we also recommend setting up good employee engagement systems. Regarding millennial workers, employers should ask:

  • How are they performing?
  • What could they improve?
  • How can they improve?
  • How can they become better at their job?

For millennials, an annual performance review isn’t enough. Instead, they need continuous feedback, so they feel as though they’re always progressing.

Celebrate Achievements

All achievements should be celebrated, regardless of age. If you really want to value your employees and show your appreciation for their hard work, it all starts with praise. Often, managers and other leaders feel as though they need to offer big bonuses or extravagant gestures. No, it all starts with a “thank you” or “well done.” If you praise your millennials, they will

feel more motivated to achieve something even bigger in the future – and this will only help your business.

Do the Basics Well

Finally, millennials know their time is precious. They know that, if they aren’t appreciated, there are other businesses that will take better care of them. If you don’t provide them with the tools they need to succeed, they will quickly grow frustrated.

With these small tips, you understand more about what motivates millennials in the workplace and how to help them shine!


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