5 ways to engage your millennial workforce

Stephanie Aslan
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Whether you’ve noticed the shift or not, your company’s workforce is changing. By 2020, millennials will make up more than half the UK workforce. So it’s important to ensure your hiring and staff retention practices cater to this generation of workers.

To help you keep them engaged at the hiring stage and long into their employment, we’ve compiled our top tips for attracting and retaining millennial talent.  

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Be flexible (using tech)

Millennials crave flexibility at work, a trend that now extends beyond the traditional corporate 9-to-5. People working in the hospitality and retail sectors (industries that typically relied on direct employment by a single company) are now also seeking the ability to choose when and where they work. Apps, like Catapult, are enabling people to apply their skills to a broad range of employers, in exchange for the freedom to pick their own schedule. 

Incorporating tech tools into your staffing strategy, can give flexibility back to your retail or hospitality workforce and help you stay ahead of the curve.  

Be good

Gone are the days when you turned up at your workplace, made a quick buck and went home without a second thought. A recent US-based survey showed that nearly 40% of millennials have chosen a job based on whether the employer’s approach to business aligns with their own values. 

Having a strong set of values and incorporating sustainable practices into the business don't just make your business a great place to work, they can also greatly influence potential hires, and motivate existing team members.

Listen up

Millennials have grown up in an era of information overload. Constantly bombarded with messages from every conceivable source, from TV programmes to podcasts, search engines to social media, they’re capable of absorbing information very quickly. This also means they’re full of ideas and want to know they’re being listened to. 

Make sure you pay attention, as they’re likely to be strong drivers of innovation. You can make time to listen using simple survey-making tools, organising listening groups, and by hosting brainstorming sessions. 

Don’t forget development

Having grown up in a fluid, ever-changing world, millennials don’t take up a role so they can stick around and stagnate. They want to know that they’re developing all the time. In fact, 58% of millennials plan to change jobs for more learning opportunities

Offering regular training can help identify any areas for improvement and have the added bonus of bolstering team members. App-based courses are a great way to keep people’s skills up, while also reigniting their passion for the job - ensuring they feel engaged. 

Be informal

Unlike previous generations, millennials tend to favour a flat organisational structure and an informal approach to communication. Using tools like the hospitality industry’s chat app, Yapster, for example, can help maintain open lines of communication between you and your staff. 

Making efforts to adapt to suit your changing workforce doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming or tricky. With an increasing number of tech companies building tools designed to help, simply understanding how to cater to your young team’s preferences will put you in a strong position to engage your workforce effectively - and keep them motivated well into the future. 

To learn more about the importance of having an engaged workforce, check out our interview Lord Mark Price, the founder of Engaging Works Founder and former Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership.

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