Invest in Your People

Employee engagement is important to business success and less than a third of Millennials surveyed by Gallup say they are engaged in their work. Millennials are those born in the ’80s and early ’90s. They are known to job hop and be consumers of the work place. This is much different from the Baby Boomers (born between ’46-’64) who tend to be loyal to an employer and Generation Xers (born between ’64-’79) who focus on problem-solving.

Win over and engage Millennials and you will win the war for employees. This generation is the largest growing segment of the workforce. Knowing how to engage them in their roles will help grow your business. According to a Harvard Business Review report, Millennials are looking for opportunities to learn and grow. So the question is, have you built a plan to invest in these young workers? It reminds me of one of my favourite quotes that floats around LinkedIn and other social media sites. It is the conversation between Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The conversations starts with the CFO asking the CEO, “What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us?” and the CEO replies, “What happens if we don’t and they stay.”

During this back to school season, perhaps it is time to look at learning opportunities for your staff. Investing in your people benefits your company in many ways and it is worth the risk. Further, investing in employees helps you retain your employees – especially the young ones. Every generation looks for something different when applying for a job and opportunities to learn and grow top the list for Millennials. So, if you are looking to engage this largest growing sector of the work force, you may need to look at the opportunities you are providing for growth and education.

Here are four simple ways to help your Millennial employees learn and grow:

1. Talk to them about their career goals.
Part of the learning and growth you can give your employees is to help them better understand career paths. How can an individual move up in the company? These individuals are young and starting out in their careers. They want to know that there is a path to the next step.

2. Make time to mentor and provide guidance.
Millennials want to look up to you and learn from you so plan to spend time teaching and coaching. They have a can-do attitude and regular mentoring will guide that attitude to success for them and your business.

3. Teach them about the business and show them how each role contributes to success.
Millennials are interested in the big picture and how they fit into that picture. They also want to know that they are providing goods and services that make a positive difference in people’s lives. Showing employees how the business does this will help them engage in the opportunities in front of them.

4. Hold regular meetings.
Millennials are more likely to be engaged when their manager holds a regular meeting with them. They thrive with structure so be sure to have project due dates, scheduled activities, and clear goals. Be sure to communicate daily with Millennials and identify personal milestones that allow the employee to track their own success.

The workplace is changing and business owners must adapt to the needs of a new workforce. Understanding what is important to the next generation will help businesses engage employees resulting in higher employee retention, better job satisfaction, and steady profits.