When it comes to employee engagement, a one-size-fits-all approach will not work. Organisations need to account for generational differences in the way they address engagement. Yet, what all generations have in common is a shared desire for accomplishment, an organisation to be proud of, and a job to enjoy.
So, with millennials forming around a third of the global workforce, what can organisations do to truly engage with this demographic?
In the Middle East, the three most impactful drivers are: the organisation's reputation, a sense of accomplishment, and people/HR practices.
1. Drive engagement by enhancing the organisation’s reputation
Millennials are a self-expressive bunch. They are not afraid to share experiences, views and ideas with their various connections; therefore, creating a powerful – and very public – imprint of the organisation. So how can this be leveraged to raise engagement internally?
• Stand out as an authentic place to work: Upload videos of employees talking about their job, their day and the organisation.
• Encourage expressiveness: Set up a group that meets regularly to identify opportunities for improving the workplace experience.
• Solicit input proactively and transparently: Don’t discourage younger employees from questioning the organisation’s strategy and results.
2. Nurture a sense of accomplishment
Often, millennials’ desire for a sense of accomplishment has been misinterpreted to indicate unrealistic expectations for rapid advancement. Instead, what if this is viewed as a desire to shape the organisation’s direction? Consider:
• Structuring work so that employees participate in ‘projects’ with a structure, clear objectives and measures of success, which will help provide more tangible accomplishments.
• Analysing some of the most typical career paths in your organisation and measuring how long it takes to achieve key career milestones. Is there a rapid and clear pathway for advancement? Is the organisation committed to the career progression of current employees or are external candidates more likely to be parachuted in?
3. Deliver people and HR practices that work
HR policies and practices often do not actively promote employee engagement and can be confusing for employees. If your organisation’s HR policies and processes have not changed for a long time, why not leverage millennials’ enthusiasm and fresh thinking to identify innovative policies and processes that energise – not restrain – your workforce?
In a nutshell, millennials who are entering the workforce now are a great potential source of fresh, untapped energy. They are in tune with the world, want to make an impact and are not yet set in current ways of doing things. Given the chance, millennials may well be your key to unlocking the genie of your organisation’s employee engagement.
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If you need help with engaging the millenials in your organisation, get in touch with us today.