We often hear millennials been labelled as “lazy”, “needy” or “entitled” by the media. Contrary to the negative stereotype, a study conducted by ManpowerGroup in 2016 found that Singapore millennials work 48 hours a week and claimed the second longest working week in the world, only lower than Indian millennials who work 52 hours per week.
According to a LinkedIn survey in 2016, while millennials are proven diligent at work, they are also much more mobile. They are much more likely to leave a job when feeling disengaged, in comparison to non-millennials who often say no to the idea of job-hopping.
If companies do not pay sufficient attention to the needs of millennial workers, they are at risk of losing excellent employees to their competitors. According to ManpowerGroup, millennials will account for more than 30% of the global workforce by 2020. Millennials are a group of employees that organisations need to understand, engage and take care of.
Millennials highly value skills development
According to Lynda Teo, country manager at Manpower Group Singapore, 93% of their survey participants in 2016 indicated skills development as a critical part of their future careers. Gallup has found that one of the top 3 criteria to retain millennials is “opportunities to learn and grow” and it is the only area of retention that differentiates millennials’ needs from those of other generations.
As millennials are driven, employers should step up their training and development strategies to meet their needs. A provision of relevant training courses and workplace learning is an effective approach to sharpen employees’ skills and enhance work results. Training goals should tie in with individual development and business improvement.
Improvement in capabilities open more opportunities of career progression and this will help to motivate and enhance millennials’ satisfaction with your company.
Instant feedback and responses are helpful
Millennials are used to rapid feedback and response in every aspect of their lives, and work is no exception. Constant feedback about their performance, areas for improvement and praising them for their good work will satisfy their needs for being acknowledged and keep millennials more engaged.
Millennials desire flexibility and freedom
Millennial workers value flexibility and work-life harmony. Technology has made it possible for more flexible work arrangements. Indeed, more Singapore companies are beginning to adjust their policies to allow more flexibility as a strategy to retain the millennial talents.
Another aspect that concern millennials is the freedom to use social media. Unlike the previous generation, millennials embrace the digital age and live their life online. Unless for security reasons, instead of restricting their use, companies may educate their staff how to be smart social media users instead.
Millennials work for a purpose
Millennials are the purpose-driven generation. A clear sense of purpose will engage them and help them to envision a future with your company. To engage millennials, an organisation can convey to millennials its purpose, mission, values and goals clearly during the onboarding programs.
There is no one-size-fit-all solution to engage millennials at work. It is important to diagnose your situation, conduct surveys and provide feedback channels for millennial employees to voice their thoughts and recommendations. With a deeper understanding of employees’ desire and what drives them, employers can create better strategies to address their interests, without compromising on productivity and business performance.