In this – part five of our series decoding the Wicked Millennial Problem – it’s time to XXXXX. In part one we attempted to understand Millennials. In part two we looked at how to recruit Millennials. In part three we explored challenges facing Millennials. Part four considered best ways to motivate Millennials. Now, we’re sharing personal experiences on how we best engage our predominantly Millennial workforce.
Go where they are
Don’t ever send a physical memo again. Whether you’re large enough to be making the most of a tool like Yammer or Salesforce’s Chatter or utilizing free tools like Facebook, WhatsApp or our personal favourite Slack, accept that your Millennial workforce is engaging through technology and speak to them where they already are.
While Millennials believe themselves to be autonomous in their thinking, they absolutely thrive when they feel part of a bigger team. The most effective ways to build that team are often through informal channels. Go for after-work drinks. Create a separate communication channel for those inside jokes that aren’t for the day-to-day. They’re fine with their personal and professional lives overlapping. In fact, they prefer it and they WANT to be friends with their coworkers.
Speak their language
This isn’t a reference to buzzwords or insider acronyms. Instead, it’s a tacit acknowledgement that Millennials appreciate and value authentic communication driven by honesty and directness, with a little humour thrown in. Also, don’t expect them to fully form sentences in text messages or internal emails. They write like they speak and they understand the difference between chatting to a coworker (offline or online) and addressing a client.
Lots of organisations are hung up on the belief that Millennials want everything to be done their way. That’s no more true than how anyone would prefer things to be their way. Millennials’ beef is with feeling heard. That means a genuine consideration of their point of view, which can happen in whatever forum makes the most sense for your organisation or the topic at hand. Offer the space, give the acknowledgement and, when you can, explain the decision that was made. It’s a brave new world out there. Are you ready?
AKCG is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, global workforce that loves wicked problems like decoding the values, passions and struggles of an entire generation. This article is part of a series we’re writing about the Wicked Millennial Workforce Problem. If you’d like us to let you know when we’ve added to this series please fill in your email below to subscribe to our e-newsletter.
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