Frequently asked questions

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How do you manage millennials at work?

Managing millennials effectively at work means providing an environment and culture that meets their needs so they can thrive as employees. Leading organizations are focused on creating excellent employee experiences for their entire workforce, because it supports productivity, performance, loyalty and employee advocacy. But with five generations in some workplaces today, millennials are a group with distinct needs and preferences.

Why millennials are different

Millennials are a particular focus for many organizations, because they form a substantial proportion of the workforce, so their performance and loyalty can have a big impact on company performance. One survey estimates that millennials now make up at least half of the global workforce.

The characteristics often attributed to millennials in the workforce include ambition, thirst for knowledge, a desire for self-improvement and rapid advancement, a drive to do good and a lack of tolerance for unsatisfactory situations. This may explain why some commentators says that millennials are job-hoppers. If organizations can find ways to embrace and satisfy these typical millennial goals and values, there’s no reason why millennials should be more transient as employees than any other.

The experiences that millennials value

Understanding what’s behind some of these millennial attributes helps organizations to develop policies and values that can accommodate them, along with other workforce generations. Research and data insight can help organizations better understand their own particular workforce, profiling their people and identifying factors that may either motivate or alienate them. HR teams can then design workforce experiences that meet the particular needs of their own employees in the millennial and every other workforce generation.

Here are some approaches employers have identified to create strong employee experiences for millennials in the workforce:

  • Provide opportunities to help others and work for good
  • Have company values they believe in and understand how they contribute
  • Make it possible for millennials to progress through a variety of different roles in an organization
  • Give regular feedback to guide and motivate – more than once a year at an annual review
  • Support personal development with training, conferences and tailored learning experiences based on individual preferences

Our research uncovers insights from 500+ HR leaders on how they’re dealing with the HR to People transformation in the digital world of work – and how they’re using technology to get ahead.

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