Corporate & Employee

How to Connect With Millennials in the Workplace

Author: Deryl Cason

It’s hard to go a day without hearing a conversation or seeing an article about “Millennials”. So who are Millennials, and what’s the big deal?

Millennials in the workplace

Millennials make up the largest generation in the world and the first to come of age in the new millennium. Members of the Millennial generation were born from the early 1980s until the early 2000s, which makes them the first generation to grow up with the wide-scale adoption of digital technologies such as the Internet.

Millennials are also starting to make up a major part of the workplace, and their unique experience can be a major source of confusion for the businesses that employ them. While Millennials have received a fair amount of criticism, it’s important that their perspective isn’t ignored as they progress in the professional world.

So how do you get the most out of your Millennial employees? Let’s take a look at a few guiding principles and how you can adjust your work environment to connect with the next generation.

Communication Is a Priority

This might not sound like a generation-specific idea. Doesn’t every employee and business value communication no matter their age? Well, yes, but Millennials have different expectations than older generations when it comes to communication. They tend to expect more frequent feedback from their managers and superiors. They want to know what they’re doing right and where they could improve.

If a Millennial employee has made a significant contribution to a project or initiative, a shoutout through a digital signage network in the office could let them know their work is valued. Millennials want to emotionally connect with their job and stay engaged with business goals. Engaging Millennials with a combination of recognition and digital technology is a great one-two punch to spur motivation and productivity.

Work-Life Balance

Millennials often don’t see work as completely separate from their personal life. Work is, instead, an extension of their personal goals and lifestyle. That means that when they come to the office, Millennials expect to have fun, socially interact with their coworkers and participate much like they would in any other setting.

Once again, a network of digital signs is a great strategy for accommodating the Millennial preference for interaction and engagement. It’s not necessarily the digital screen that keeps them in the action as much as the ability to customize content. Digital screens are capable of displaying several forms of media, including video and text. One idea is to post a social media feed that updates in real-time. This allows employees to communicate much like they would on their mobile devices. This can increase communication, teamwork and camaraderie in the office.

Make Them Part of the Team

Many Millennials have grown up being placed in groups and on teams, and that experience translates to their work. Where older generations promoted independence and self-reliance, Millennials believe more can be achieved through teamwork. Use that team pride to foster loyalty and create a team they want to be a part of.

More businesses are using internal marketing to establish a company culture that their employees can take pride in. Through digital displays, interior décor and company wearables, businesses are able to promote their own message and branding to employees. And because Millennials view their work as part of their social identity, they are more likely to become brand ambassadors in their day-to-day lives.

Stay on the Cutting Edge

Perhaps the most obvious way to connect with tech-savvy Millennials in the workplace is to incorporate the tools that they use on a daily basis. Millennials don’t view technology as a bonus, but instead as an essential element of success. Providing modern technology such as interactive signage or glassboards shows Millennial employees not only that you “get it”, but more importantly, that you’re invested in their success. This can go a long way in fostering loyalty from current employees as well as attracting talented new employees.

Millennials aren’t bad or good employees necessarily. They’re different, and that should keep businesses on their toes as more Millennials join the work force. There are many ways to connect to Millennials, and you’ll find their motivations aren’t that much different from previous generations. They want to enjoy work, find value in their job and get ahead. It’s how you tap into those motivations that takes some adjusting. Hopefully some of these ideas will help you form a lasting connection with your future employees. How are you connecting with Millennial employees? Let us know by tweeting @FASTSIGNS or sharing on our Facebook page.