Authentic Employee Engagement: Create the Company Culture Millennials Crave

February 2, 2024 Mimi Torrington

Millennials texting on their phones

Millennials are changing the face of what it means to have an engaged workplace culture— and they are doing it for the better. In fact, millennials now make up 38% of the job market, with 10 Million of them open to new job opportunities, according to a recent poll from Gallup. But what kind of company culture are millennials looking for in their next organization? As the workforce gets younger, companies are learning to adapt to provide more than just lip service to work-life balance, company culture, and career opportunities. And many are finding that simply offering snacks in the break room or a happy hour once in a while doesn’t cut it when attracting and keeping top talent. Find out what it is that millennial employees truly crave and how you can provide a workplace (and a workforce) streamlined for the future.

Ongoing Skills Training as Part of Your Company Culture

Company Culture for Millennials

One of the best ways to keep your team invested in your business? Simple – invest in them. In addition to onboarding, help them to hone their professional skill set by offering ongoing training. This can either be for brushing-up on current knowledge or learning new skills. It’s a top way of demonstrating how valuable an employee’s input is to the business.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be fresh skills – it can also stretch to core strengths such as organization and time management, which are particularly important to millennials. Research has shown that only half of millennials easily prioritize tasks in the work environment, compared to 71% of their older-generation counterparts.

Social Events – Go Big or Go Home

employees wearing masks in large business event during pandemic

If you want your employees to engage with your business during working hours and enjoy coming to work each day, give them something to look forward to. Social events aren’t only a great incentive – they also give employees the opportunity to build relationships within their teams, further solidifying employee loyalty and a strong company culture.

What works for many larger companies is to have one or two large yearly events with a team of individuals at all levels responsible for planning. With plenty of internal marketing and communication, employees will be looking forward to the big night, and by including many different employees (regardless of position and team) in the process, you not only get engagement, but you ensure that the event is planned to perfection.

A Focus on Health - What Millennials Look for in Company Culture

millennials keeping a safe distance focused on health in new company culture

Overworked employees aren’t the healthiest, nor the most productive. Making health and balance a part of your company culture can go a long way in not only attracting great employees but also keeping them. A good start? Promote healthy living through diet and exercise by encouraging it and participating in organized events, which of course will strengthen corporate culture.

Give your employees the opportunity to stretch their legs as part of a weekly running club, with managers showing their faces and getting actively involved. Better yet, invite families of employees to participate. Go on group hikes or start a team sport. Your employees will see you as invested in their health and their family, and what’s more important than that?

Rewards for Success

business owner shaking employee hands for his success in performance

One of the key catalysts for employee disengagement is a lack of recognition. So much so that non-recognition is often said to be the killer of productivity. Employees like to know you care, and simple recognition goes a long way, especially for millennials who put personal development at the forefront of their career goals. Although companies often think that giving monetary rewards is the only way to show employees that they’re appreciated, simple recognition in front of peers can be as beneficial at boosting motivation and increasing employee engagement as cash.

For top performers, you can reward them and simultaneously inspire others by presenting them with non-monetary rewards, such as a plaque recognizing achievement. When presented in front of fellow employees at regular intervals (think once a month), younger employees are likely to strive for those bragging rights. Oh! and of course, don't forget to post all those recognition moments on social media!

And with this, you now have the right knowledge to start working on the work culture that surrounds your millennial workforce. Keep in mind that this generation differs from baby boomers and other generations in many ways. Company social responsibility, flexible working, and working from home are some of the accommodations that millennials have come to expect as standard from small and large companies that employ them. Lastly, managers should be more involved with their employees, regularly check how millennials feel and listen to their concerns because more likely than not they came to redefine what success at work is.

Enjoy this article? You’ll love our white paper on developing a full employee engagement strategy to see what millennials prefer when it comes to engagement in the workplace: Employee Engagement: The Definitive Guide to Retaining Top Talent Through Company Culture. Download for free.

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