4 Ways to REALLY Motivate Millennial Employees

Sheena Stemler All, HR & Recruiting Advice, Management Best Practices Leave a Comment

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Like it or not, Millennials are here to stay. In fact, Generation Y is the largest generation in the workforce. Like many employers, are you negative about Millennials? Do you refuse to make changes that will better suit them? If so, your company will not be nearly as successful as one that celebrates this generation of individuals.

There seems to be somewhat of a lack of motivation among Millennial workers at large. Obviously, this is a problem. After all, when employee motivation is low, productivity and revenue often are, too. Why is it that the majority of employers don’t know how to effectively motivate their Generation Y workers? The answer is simple: because they don’t understand them. Once you understand what makes these youngsters tick, motivating them becomes a breeze.

Understanding the Mind of a Millennial

Do you know what drives your Millennial employees? While every individual born between 1982 and 2004 is different, there are a few things the majority of them have in common. In general, a Millennial…

Is physically healthier than those of previous generations.

Is tech-savvy, open-minded and innovative.

Is actively helping to create a shared economy by avoiding or putting off making major purchases.

Thinks less about money and titles than individuals of prior generations.

4 Ways to REALLY Motivate Millennial Employees

In his article How Millennials Think, and What to Do About It, Brian Halligan, CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, says, “The problem we OWGs (Old White Guys–that’s what they call us) have is that we built our companies’ cultures around the things that motivated our generation: money, career progression, and retirement plans. The Millennial generation has an entirely different consideration set for motivation…” He goes on to tell employers precisely how to motivate Generation Y individuals: offer excellent training options, create an open space in which all employees may work, rewrite the company mission, and throw out the employee handbook.

1) Offer excellent training options – If your company’s employee training options are bland, you’ll lose the loyalty of your Gen Y workers, because they love to learn. Offer them the most cutting-edge training your company can afford.

2) Create an open workspace – Did you know that Millennials are not fans of personal offices? Halligan says, “Get rid of all offices, including yours, and let everyone work in an open space to foster collaboration.”

3) Rewrite the company mission – What is your company’s mission? If it has anything to do with money, it’s not going to motivate the typical Millennial. Generation Y doesn’t care so much about making a dollar; they care most about making a difference. Adjust your mission statement accordingly.

4) Throw out the employee handbook – You’ve probably figured out already that Millennials don’t respond well to rules. Is this because they are all spoiled brats? No. It is because they value making their own decisions and being internally governed. Halligan writes, “Throw out your employee handbook and start from scratch. Replace as many rules as possible with this simple guideline: ‘Use good judgment.’”


What do YOU think about these suggestions? Are you willing to change with the times, or do you think that is unnecessary? Regardless of your stance, we’d love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

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