Why You Should See Employee Engagement In A New Light
Contributed by Regina Soh February 12, 2018
By 2025, 75% of the global workforce will comprise of millennials1. With this obvious trend (decline of baby boomers and rise of the millennials) that has already kickstarted, it signals to companies that new ways of managing the workforce need to be set in place. It’s time to look at employee engagement in a new light.
While the reportfrom Workforce 2020 (produced by SAP, in collaboration with independent research group Oxford Economics) shows that millennials could be, in fact, not very different from their seniors2, there are still some some traits about the millennials which companies cannot afford to overlook. It is definitely advantageous to know what they are looking for when determining if the company is a right fit for them.
According to The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2014, millennials want to work for companies that foster innovative thinking.
78 per cent of Millennials were strongly influenced by how innovative a company was when deciding if they wanted to work there, but most say their current employer does not encourage them to think creatively.
When asked about the barriers to innovation, they cited management attitude (63%), operational structures and procedures (61%) and employee skills, attitudes and diversity (39%) as the main reasons.
What the millennials have abundance on hand is technology, which gives them access to loads of valuable information. Having grown up with technology advancement, they have been shaped into a group who are aware of the surroundings, and wants to work on complex problems through creative solutions which they are well-equipped to come up with.
When it comes to doing social good, millennials can be said to be at the forefront and they are eager to make that difference.
In his report Meet The Millennials (2010), Leigh Buchanan state that almost 70% (of millennials) state “giving back” and “being civically engaged” as their highest priorities.
Four years down the road, statistics from The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2014 show that millennials agree that a business should not be just measured based on financial figures; the ability and effort of the organization to give back to society is one of the important attributes companies should possess.
Given how millennials place emphasis on giving back to the society, companies should not rule out the fact that allowing younger workers a chance to contribute to society through their work is key to engaging and motivating employees. Results of a survey done by NetImpact3 have shown that employees across all age groups feel that it is more important to “make a difference for others” rather than to be “personally successful”.
A good paycheck could, no doubt, be a great pulling factor while on the hunt for talents. However, this may not always be the case4, and it applies to millennials, too.
In the same report from NetImpact, more than 50% highlighted the importance of “opportunities for rapid advancement or promotion in the next few years” and close to 90% want the “ability to grow and learn new skills”. Workforce 2020 has also demonstrated that “not enough opportunities for advancement” is one of the concerns employees have about their job.
New research5 by CultureAmp found that development opportunities and leadership have 3 to 4 times greater impact on retention than your relationship with your immediate manager.
Besides monetary compensation as a motivation, wouldn’t it be better if the budget was used in growing your own talent pool? This gives them the acknowledgement, that they are being valued as a resource, and are groomed to contribute better to your organization (and to society). Millennials thrive on doing valuable and meaningful work, remember?
Work-life Balance & Flexibility
Millennials grew up in the technology era. They understood very well how existing technologies platforms can be utilized to allow them to work from another location. As such, they don’t see the need to spend the full 9 – 5 kind of hours in the office. They prefer the flexibility to work remotely.
One of the major findings in PwC’s NextGen6 study shows that Millennials and Non-Millennials (both categories occupying more than 60%), look forward to flexibility which includes working from home and adjustable working hours. Some are even willing to sacrifice a cut in their pay in exchange for fewer working hours.