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Millennial engagement – how can organisations get it right?

31 May 2016 by  Gerhard Diedericks

Millennials are now the largest generation in the workforce, and their expectations of employers are different to those of older generations. Yet, many organisations have traditionally had a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to employee engagement – or action planning has been done at business unit level assuming the same actions will increase engagement for all demographic groups.

How to address millennial engagement?

Based on Aon’s Workforce Mindset™ Study 2015, work/life balance is the #1 factor millennials are looking for in an employer. In addition, the top drivers to improve millennial engagement are:

  • Pay & benefits
  • Career & development opportunities
  • Recognition
Pay & benefits, Career & development opportunities and recognition are the top drivers to improve millennial engagement

Also, reverse mentoring programmes have become more common, in which millennials assist executives and older generations in emerging technologies and approaches that can improve the workplace.

What role do managers play?

Developing diverse talent practices will only get you to a certain point. The ability to understand the different needs of employees and ability to provide the best work experience often comes down to the quality of conversations between the employee and their manager. According to a study by Kronos Incorporated, 65% of millennials who left their employer said they would have stayed longer if management had shown interest in them or if their manager had asked what needed to be done to keep them.

Organisations need to develop manager capability to become greater listeners and coaches to engage and retain individuals.

What’s the future of millennial engagement?

There are two emerging trends when it comes to engaging millennials:

1. Owning individual engagement:
The concept of employee engagement is no longer a one-way deal, or something organisations need to provide to employees on their own. Employees are also expected to be aware and take action of their own engagement, which can be enabled through real-time individual engagement reports.

2. Continuous listening:
Given the shorter tenure and different needs of millennials, it is also important to move towards continuous listening of employee feedback throughout the employee lifecycle – from onboarding, to engagement, pulse and exit surveys. This enables employers to take immediate action to retain and engage staff.

Start a conversation with us

If you need help engaging with millennials in your organisation, get in touch with us today.

Gerhard Diedericks

Gerhard has more than 15 years of experience in supporting organisations such as Telstra, NAB, ANZ, Barclays and BHP Billiton to better execute strategy through people. He believes that talent analytics represents the next big opportunity for organisations to unlock value and execute strategy through people.

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