Gritty Engagement Hack (Part 1)
Want to know what we are tired of hearing?
That Millennials are to blame for the deterioration of everything ‘good’ in our world.
Technology and media have indeed revolutionized our way of life in ways previous generations couldn’t have ever dreamed, but if we really think back, the idea that young people are ruining society as we know it is nothing new. (“Get off my lawn, you rascals!”)
We are simply over this thought that Millennials and Gen Y employees are unprepared and difficult to manage. Complaining about our apparent narcissistic and entitled work ethic is more than just a buzz kill, it’s counterproductive to identifying solutions that will adapt to the generational difference we presently face in the workplace.
So how do we engage the young and modern minds that are now occupying the majority of our workforce?
Get in their business! Building a relationship with your employees that runs deeper than Monday’s meeting agenda and Q2’s sales goals will nurture the secret ingredient to ultimate engagement: Trust. Here’s a quick 3-part breakdown of one our many millennial engagement theories:
As their leader, make it your priority to understand where each of your employees are in their life. Is she in school? Is she apartment hunting? Did he just get engaged? Is he taking care of his parents? Some might argue that getting too personal with your employees can blur the lines in the manager-employee relationship, but we believe that showing you care is necessary for engaging today’s young and modern mind. If you were to write down the names of all the people on your team, you should be able to identify 2-3 personal, non-work things about each of them. If you can’t? Get to work by reaching out and getting involved.
Ask when her mid-terms fall this quarter. Can the team take a couple things off her plate for that week while she focuses on studying? When is her deadline for finding a new apartment? Can you offer an afternoon or two off so she can meet with property managers or sign a lease? Life is hard and going the extra mile for your employees in the areas of their life that has nothing to do with your business truly conveys your investment in their total life, not just the part that supports your company.
Celebrate the end of the school year at the office and kick off summer break for her. Throw a lunchtime engagement party and invite his fiance. Send wellness flowers to his mother. As a leader, don’t be afraid to honor your employees in a way that allows them to be themselves wholly while they are honoring you with their time, work, and skills for your business. Showing gestures of thoughtful investment will engage your people in ways that today’s dime-a-dozen ping pong table and office nap room perks couldn’t dream of.
Stayed tuned for more Gritty Engagement Hacks coming soon on the blog! For more info on how you can effectively lead and engage a millennial workforce, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Jessica Miranda, Sr. Leadership + HR Strategist for THE GRITTY MOVEMENT