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Employee Engagement, Millennials

The Secret to Keeping Millennials Engaged Sounds Familiar

The Secret to Keeping Millennials Engaged Sounds Familiar
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Naomi Thalenberg

Naomi is a reporter for TINYpulse, living and breathing everything employee engagement. She does this by always keeping her workstation fully stocked with dark chocolates.

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Companies have been wondering what they have to do to successfully manage and retain millennial talent. According to FastCompany, millennial women are especially of concern to employers, so the International Consortium for Executive Development Research decided to find out what they want. Respondents’ requests boiled down to:

  • Know me — Invest the time to understand me as a person and what interests me both inside and outside of work.
  • Challenge me — I want to have continued opportunities to learn and grow.
  • Connect me — Relationships are important. I want to interact and collaborate with a wide network of people.
  • Inspire me — I want to derive a sense of meaning from my work.
  • Unleash me — I want to take good risks and have autonomy over my time and projects.

Interestingly, none of what the respondents said is very unusual. In fact, here’s what other researchers have previously said are the behaviors of “centered leadership”:

  • Meaning
  • Framing — adapting to change and building self-awareness
  • Energizing — tapping into the our natural energy reserves and rhythms
  • Connecting — interacting and collaborating with a wide network of people
  • Engaging — taking good risks and using your voice

Even more intriguing, the PERMA study of well-being found that well-being consists of these components:

  • Positive emotions
  • Engagement
  • Relationships
  • Meaning
  • Achievement

It’s all pretty much the same thing, so there maybe there’s no reason to obsess over millennials. They want what everyone wants. FastCompany suggests three things that can work especially well to keep millennials and everyone else engaged.

Give More Than You Take

There are givers and takers, and who you are can help generate positive relationships with employees. One study showed that being a boss who’s a giver enhanced the sense of meaning employees ascribed to their work.

Make Decisions Count

Employees can careen from the beginning to the end of the day, changing tasks with no method or reason, and the effect can be exhausting. Help employees maintain their energy by offering “decision-point” training that enables them to be more conscious of how frequently and why they shift gears.

Create More Positive Emotions

Research shows positive emotions lower blood pressure, enhance creativity, build resilience, and make it easier to bounce back from stressful situations. Do your best to project a genuine positive attitude, not one that’s so over-the-top that it causes stress instead of relieving it.

Naomi Thalenberg

Naomi is a reporter for TINYpulse, living and breathing everything employee engagement. She does this by always keeping her workstation fully stocked with dark chocolates.

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