Engaged Millennials make an impact on society

In a bid to continue celebrating and recognising the efforts of young people doing great things post 1976, South African Millennials have the potential to create remarkable cultural and technological impact on society and the business world.
Known today as The New Boom, Echo Boomers and Millennials – it is no surprise that organisations are realising the importance of understanding how to engage Millennials in the workplace. Millennials are fast becoming the most productive generation with the right combination of management and motivation in the workplace.

The interest in the Millennial generation is largely due to the immediate and long term effects on society, resulting in a massive shift in opinion on social issues over the past decade; this generation is racially diverse, unattached to politics or religion and linked to social media communities – the distinct generational identity is evident in the way they interact with peers. Organisations are realising that the divide between Millennial generation and non-Millennial is growing rapidly, this disconnect between the two generations impacts on employee engagement, retention levels and ultimately, the bottom line.

It is important to understand the significant differences between the two generations in the workplace, engaging employees who are part of the Millennial generation can lead to increased effectiveness in supervising and mentoring, which in turn can lead to workplace satisfaction, retention, motivation and greater productivity. It is imperative that multigenerational teams have informed management strategies to ensure the diverse team performs optimally.

In an effort to bridge the generational divide, organisations can reduce the divide between the two generations by taking the following approaches to ensure employee engagement from Millennial and non–Millennials.

• Establishing an environment characterised by effective employer-employee communication;
• Building a system of incentives, employee perks, awards, and recognition;
• Ensuring value in employee compensation and benefits packages;
• Developing challenges and an interesting slate of diverse tasks for team members;
• Building an environment in which there are friendly interactions among team members; and
• Providing training and development.

Millennial employees need more guidance than those who have been with an organisation for many years. While they are optimistic and excited to advance within the company, they are unsure of their roles and responsibilities. To succeed, they need feedback to understand what they are doing right and encouragement to help them improve. Managers can turn that initial level of enthusiasm into full engagement from a multigenerational team to ensure effective workplace environments typified by effective communication, value recognition and motivation.

Neville De Lucia is the Director at Dale Carnegie Training, Gauteng.

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