In Part 1, we broke down today’s working generations: the unique characteristics and needs of Baby Boomers, Gen X-ers, and Millennials.

Millennials are stereotyped as the entitled generation. They are portrayed as being obsessed with themselves, proven by their passion for taking selfies and being self-employed. So why would companies want such needy, self-obsessed, tech-savvy, career-driven, creative, knowledge-hungry Millennials working for them? Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory.

Four basic reasons you want millennial workers on your team:

  • Millennials are going to be a majority in the American workforce.
  • Millennials will soon be your primary buyers.
  • Millennials are hard-working. They work on different terms, but if they are engaged properly they can be incredibly productive – up to 69% of employees between the ages 25 and 34 bring work home with them and 42% check in with work while on vacation.
  • Millennials are creative. They grew up being told to express themselves and are therefore good at conceiving new ideas. This partially accounts for their entrepreneurial drive.

They also like to ask the question, “Why?”

Yes, it can be irritating. But answering that question every so often leads to clarity of vision and a streamlined workflow for the whole team. Millennials grew up with information and communication at their fingertips. As a result, they want to know the value upfront of the projects they are working on and the vision of the companies they work for. They won’t waste time on things they don’t believe in, and won’t give up on the things that they do.

So engaging Millennials is key. But how? Let’s look at the five drivers of engagement for Millennials in the workplace.

1. Autonomy

Definition: the ability to achieve one’s own way, as long as the goal is reached.

Millennials want independence. They want the ability to work from home and manage their own time. When done well, offering Millennials autonomy can result in:

  • Higher output due to motivation from responsibility
  • Truly creative problem-solving
  • Lower turnover over time from higher engagement with projects
  • Stronger employer-employee relationships

A couple things to be aware of: be careful to avoid promoting a lack of quality control and freedom without direction. Make sure you hold Millennials accountable for their actions and work to make sure quality doesn’t suffer.

2. Social Connectivity

Definition: an environment where Millennials connect with each other in such a way that fosters greater business results.

Remember, Millennials don’t see a line separating work relationships with personal ones. Offering Millennials social connectivity in the workplace can lead to:

  • Enhanced collaboration derived from stronger relationships
  • Greater tenure due to personal investment in company
  • Higher levels of peer accountability

A couple things to keep in mind: make sure the work environment doesn’t become a social environment first and a business environment second. The company’s bottom line should always come first.

Stay tuned for the last three drivers of Millennial engagement in our next blog post!

Want to know more about how to deliver healthy autonomy and the right levels of social connectivity? Watch our full webinarDemystifying Millennials: High ROI, Low-Cost Ways to Become a Powerhouse Workplace for Millennials.