What Does Employee Engagement Mean to Millennials on Your Team?
Organizations are spending a lot of time trying to discern what really matters to millennials; the group who will soon comprise 75% of the workforce1. We recently conducted a survey of 299 millennials in the U.S. (defined for our purposes as individuals aged 22-35 who are employed for wages and have completed university, postgrad or vocational school) to find out specifically how they define and how they feel about employee engagement.
The short answer: they want to be engaged. But how?
This group wants to be engaged through learning and development opportunities, being involved in team strategy/brainstorming sessions, and getting an award or other recognition for a job well done.
Many HR departments define employee engagement in these ways:
- Connection to the company
- Connection to the mission
- Teams who are busy and happy 2
For millennial employees, they define it as not only believing in a company’s mission, and achieving general happiness, but also by feeling successful. This group wants to be engaged through learning and development opportunities, being involved in team strategy/brainstorming sessions, and getting an award or other recognition for a job well done.
We wanted to know, for those who didn’t feel fully engaged with their current employer, what could be done? Like in any good, healthy relationship, the millennials we surveyed want to feel heard, recognized, and have opportunities for growth. For the employer, they stand to gain better customer service, stronger management teams, and more cohesive teams in general, as retention rates increase for those who feel engaged3. One respondent defined employee engagement this way:
“It means to captivate your employees in a motivational way that will improve their working career and give them satisfaction. [It means allowing them to] feel part of something great and in return giving them confidence in their abilities and overall better quality of life. It means to encourage an employee that may feel complacent and/or need some encouragement to do their best work.”
While another shared, “I think an engaged employee envisions and has a good understanding of the company’s goals as well as gets recognized and compensated for that in different ways.” Still others defined an engaged employee as “someone who is always trying to grow and learn new things”, or someone who “thinks outside the box, is confident working with management to increase productivity or skills, and works hard because they feel valued in the company”.
The millennials we surveyed want to feel heard, recognized, and have opportunities for growth.
So, while opinions vary slightly on what an engaged millennial might look like in the workplace, the key takeaway is clear: they know what they want, and it’s worth doing, for the future success of your business. Need some new ideas on how to make this happen? Start the conversation by filling out the form below.