Millennials now make up the biggest number of employees in the workforce, totaling 53.5 million during the first quarter of 2015. With one millennial in every three workers in the United States alone, it’s important to note that this millennial generation of employees has different needs than their older counterpart (Gen X). A stable job in an office no longer sounds lucrative, and high pay doesn’t immediately mean that they’ll stay for the long haul.

So what do millennials in the workplace look for? More than a six-digit paycheck, these talented visionaries want social satisfaction and a deeper sense of purpose in their careers. They want to make a difference, solve problems, and be a change-maker. If you’re not providing a workplace that’s conducive to a millennial’s career growth, you could end up with a bunch of unhappy employees or workers.

how motivate unhappy employeesDon’t let their ideas – and their passion – die out! Try these five clever tips to help steer your millennials back in the right direction.

Millennials at Work – 5 Steps to Keep them Engaged:

The following mentioned are few steps on managing millennials in the workplace.

Step #1 Identify Hidden Signals and Get to the Root of the Problem:

Unhappy people don’t always show obvious signs. In fact, unless you’re very observant, you may not be able to tell that they’re unsatisfied with their work – until you get a resignation letter. A few telltale signs of a disgruntled employee are:

  • Refusing to cooperate even with simple rules or declining to attend a company-wide event
  • Having no friends – or at least someone they often talk to – at work
  • Not going beyond their job description (finishing only their tasks and doing nothing else)
  • Coming to work late or hurriedly leaving the office
  • Suddenly becoming secretive (usually whispering to colleagues, closing chat windows, etc.)

Although you’re busy, find time during the day to observe and monitor employee behavior. Once you spot someone that seems to display signs of discontent, plan a proper approach so you won’t appear like a nosy manager. Why not invite this employee for an after work coffee? Set him or her at ease by being warm, sincere, and approachable.

Millennials like superiors who can relate with them. It’s possible that the root of his or her unhappiness has nothing to do with the workload. Have a listening ear and help your millennial sort through the problem. If it’s work-related, be prepared to offer realistic solutions.

Step #2 Appreciate or Credit Little Achievements:

Whether it’s an important proposal that got accepted OR the completion of a campaign, learn to celebrate these successes with your millennial workers. Everyone – even the older generations at work – loves receiving credit for a job well done. It doesn’t have to be an expensive blowout.
If you’re a small office with 12 employees, a box or two of pizza should do the trick. For teams that accomplished specific time-bound goals, after-work cocktails are not a bad idea either. Giving people credit where credit is due boosts confidence, which in turn, improves work performance.

If you’re a small office with 12 employees, a box or two of pizza should do the trick. For teams that accomplished specific time-bound goals, after-work cocktails are not a bad idea either. Giving people credit where credit is due boosts confidence, which in turn, improves work performance.

Step #3 Encourage Team Friendship/Cooperation:

The saying “no man is an island” is never truer than in the workplace. Although there are careers where a flying solo is an option, millennials prefer lively, positive environments where they can exchange ideas. Even in a highly stressful and demanding job, people are more likely to stay if they have friends at work.
Is your team getting nagged on to meet the month’s quota? Instead of simply pushing employees, push them to work with one another to get the job done faster and more effectively. Is your new recruit feeling left out? Introduce him or her to your best workers so they could act as a guide.

Is your team getting nagged on to meet the month’s quota? Instead of simply pushing employees, push them to work with one another to get the job done faster and more effectively. Is your new recruit feeling left out? Introduce him or her to your best workers so they could act as a guide.

Step #4 Form Office Traditions:

Office culture is a big factor for millennials. That’s why companies with awesome environments (like Google, Starbucks, and Zappos) are preferred by the younger generation because they offer great benefits in an encouraging, fun atmosphere. However, not all work can be fun. So how do you create a type of office culture millennials will love without draining your bank account?

Form simple office traditions that lets everyone get together for good, clean fun. Holiday parties are one. Going out to try new restaurants once a month is also a good idea. Try coordinating a sports fest or Halloween movie marathons. This gives employees a break from the grueling demands of work, while at the same time, serves as an avenue to enhance corporate connections.

Step #5 Be Consistent:

You may have solved one employee’s discontented ways – but if you don’t follow up, you may still end with an office of unhappy workers. Although this last suggestion sounds simple enough, it’s also the hardest. Managers and supervisors need to juggle their own tasks, while managing millennials of different types. It’s not uncommon to forget promises or fail to deliver timely feedback.

However, by sticking to what you do – no matter how tough – you show your employees that you really care about them. Have you taken to giving monthly performance feedback to new employees? Do it. Did you promise a 10% Holiday bonus if a campaign pushes through? Deliver it. One of the main reasons workers feel de-motivated is because their management doesn’t carry out their promises.

Be different. Set an example for your millennial workforce or employees and you will receive the benefits of your persistence twofold.

Don’t expect immediate results. Most people will refuse to open up to you during your first attempts – but if they see that you have honest intentions, they will slowly let their guard down. Hold and protect this trust, because it’s never easy to admit to your boss that you’ve become unhappy with job or your work.

At times, you cannot stop good workers from eventually going away (even if they’re happy with their jobs). Circumstances are different for each person. Think of your millennial employees as children: they have unlimited potential and creativity, you just need to help them realize that.

Author Bio: This is a Guest Post by Cristina Antonio. She is the Chief Editor at Scoopfed.com. She enjoys writing about world news, movies, real estate, careers, and social media.

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