How to attract Millennials in the workplace

August 3, 2018


Times are changing, and the employee experience needs to change too. Millennials (those born between the 1980s to 2000) have been marching into the workforce, and currently make up the largest generation of workers. Having been brought up with technology by their side, they have gained more exposure to the world around than any of their predecessors. This has caused them to have a very different way of thinking and doing things from previous generations.

Yet, the workplace has been unable to keep up with the evolving workforce. It is evident that millennials are not as engaged with their job as we would like them to be. A study by Aon found that only 56% of Singaporean millennials were engaged with their work. This means that almost 1 in 2 millennials in Singapore are “zombie employees” and could really cost businesses a lot of money. Higher absenteeism rates, lower productivity and plummeting company morale are all linked to employee disengagement.

Wouldn’t it be so much better if we could draw out the true potential of the younger generation? One way to effectively engage millennials is to give them an experience they’ll love. Millennials are all about the experience – 78% of millennials would rather spend on an experience over material goods. Why do millennials want to work for Google or Facebook? It is because of the experience that such companies can offer. Of course, you don’t need to be a mega enterprise to create an engaging experience for employees. Here are the 4 experiences that will engage your millennials:

The fruitful career experience

  • What they want: A job that allows them to unleash their full potential

They want to be valued not just as an asset for the business, but as a person too. Millennials are at the start of their careers and want opportunities to grow. They desire to further develop themselves and make full use of their skills. Not giving millennials the chance to shine and move up the ranks is a signal to them that they are not valued in the company. After all, millennials have a long way ahead of them, and many of them prioritise career advancement. They will gladly take on challenging tasks instead of the same old assignments they can do perfectly well.

Likewise, you wouldn’t want employees who just do the bare minimum. You want them to be an actual part of the organisation and believe in the company’s mission. What better way to develop their understanding of the business than by exposing them to new frontiers.

  • Try: Constantly expose them to new challenges instead of giving them the same menial tasks. Who knows? They may even churn out fantastic solutions for your business!

The seamless mobile experience

  • What they want: The flexibility to engage with work anytime, anywhere

The tech savvy generation is more than comfortable with technology, and they do not see the point in doing things the traditional way if the digital alternative can do better. There are thousands of mobile apps nowadays which can be used to replace traditional methods. For example, instead of using email, instant messaging apps like Slack and WhatsApp do a better job at engaging millennials. Such mobile apps also provide the flexibility to work anywhere since they are not bound to their desks, which is something that many millennials desire.

Take the example of employees who are doing sales. They will constantly be out for appointments but must return to the office to do certain administrative tasks. This has changed with the rise of mobile app versions of sales tools like HubSpot and Salesforce. Now they have the freedom and convenience of working on the go. It’s not just for sales, there are plenty of apps for every job function like marketing and finance.

  • Try: Use an app for internal communications and allow employees to interact with one another

The consumer-style benefits experience

  • What they want: Benefits that are easy-to-understand, hassle-free and personalised

Benefits are perks given to employees and shouldn’t be an additional burden. Employee benefits is still lacking in many organisations, where the traditional, mundane tasks of filing claims and waiting for them to be processed are still prevalent. Furthermore, millennials don’t have the time and patience to read through pages of manuals with complex jargon. This tedious way of doing things is not going to sit well with millennials who are used to speed and simplicity. Millennials also want to have a benefits plan that caters to their needs. They can customise everything else in their lives and expect the same from their benefits.

Give them the flexibility to choose the health and wellness benefits they really want to fully engage them and maximise the gains from every dollar of benefits investment.Attracting millennials can be as easy as providing a package of main benefits (such as health insurance) to all employees, and then giving them the option to pick additional coverage (such as increased dental, fitness sessions, etc). Providing employees with new options at certain milestones can also be a good way of securing long-term commitment and loyalty.

Watch our webinar "Create A Consumer-Style Benefits Experience For Your Employees" to learn more.

The meaningful life experience

  • What they want: The ability to contribute and leave a mark on society

Promotion opportunities and the perks they get are not all that millennials are looking for. In the end, it all boils down to whether they find meaning in the work they do. Millennials are more driven when they see that the company they are working for is making a difference to the society. They want to leave an impact on society, and it is key that they resonate with the problem the company is solving. If they believe in the company's mission, they will put in their all into their work.

  • Try: Infuse your company culture into a handbook for employees to allow them to get to know your company story

In an era where talents are mobile and information is accessible, companies have to compete with each other if they want the cream of the crop. Every little thing that you can offer millennials play a part in enhancing the whole experience for them. Start redesigning the way you engage employees today and be the next “great place to work”!

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