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These Are Millennials’ Top Three Motivational Drivers At Work

These Are Millennials’ Top Three Motivational Drivers At Work
28 Oct
3:26

A group of young Hispanic and Latin entrepreneurs at their place of work. They take a work break to snap a playful selfie together.

The oldest Millennials will soon turn 40. And since this younger generation joined the workforce two decades ago, many of the myths about them have been busted. One of my studies, for example, showed that one of the most frequent charges Millennials face, Narcissism, is all wrong. Millennials are actually a lot more humble than you might think (see 4 Shocking Charts About Millennials At Work).

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By some estimates, Millennial employees are the largest group in the workforce, and that means they’ll be the largest group in your workforce. To remain successful, organizations and their managers must take steps to understand this generation of workers and to learn what drives them.

Leadership IQ research identified the top three drivers that are predictors of what makes Millennials love an organization and feel motivated to give their best efforts. You might be surprised to learn that none of them were money.

Millennial Driver #1: Quality

Quality-customer focus and the quality of work an organization provides is the number one driver of Millennial willingness to say, “this is a great organization to work for.”

Millennials want to work for organizations that make great products. Apple and Google, for example, are the best in their respective industries, which is one reason why Millennials love working there. Google lists “Focus on the user and all else will follow” as number one on their company philosophy and Amazon innovates “…by starting with the customer and working backwards.”

Try making some of your internal communications customer focused. Instead of talking about how you beat the competition, talk about all the great stuff you did for your customers. If you have managers that say, “our customers are stupid,” or who are focused only on destroying the competition, you won’t attract and retain Millennials.

Focusing on quality has the added advantage of pushing to get your quality to where it needs to be to impress your employees (which in turn will impress your customers). Millennials are good brand ambassadors if you have Millennial customers.

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Millennial Driver #2: Learning

One of the biggest things that leaders can do to help Millennials maximize their full potential is to create a learning environment. And that’s not true of just Millennials, it’s true of every generation of worker.

Millennials enjoy being on a lifelong learning path, but our research shows that only 26% say they always do. Millennials don’t make the same learning/doing distinctions as do older generations. Everything is a constant process for Millennials, and they look at things in terms of job opportunities and what they can learn, or what they can get out of the experience.

One way that managers can have an impact on this is a monthly conversation with Millennials (and all employees) that asks four questions:

  • What’s something that you’re better at now than you were last month?
  • What things would you like to get better at this month?
  • What’s your plan for developing these skills?
  • What resources can I help you with?

This conversation shows Millennials all that they have already learned, encourages new learning, and helps them emerge into self-empowered and self-directed employees.

Millennial Driver #3: Feeling Valued

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Feeling valued isn’t the same as getting a meaningless pat on the head. Don’t you appreciate it when you know that the work you do really matters?

Encouraging a more enterprising environment that embraces friendly competition, values creativity and intelligence, and where the best idea sometimes wins regardless of status or tenure gives Millennials a chance to stand out and be great. Something like Google’s concept of ‘20% time’ is an example of this in action.

In their 2004 IPO letter, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin said “We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner.”

And even though it doesn’t always get implemented as intensely as the founders suggested, the concept of it still enhances Google’s aura (and their ability to attract world-class Millennial talent).

You don’t have to go off the deep end to satisfy Millennials. And giving Millennials, or any generation of worker, what they want doesn’t mean lowering your standards. A desire to be part of an organization that produces quality work, learning on the job and feeling valued for doing good work are not narcissistic desires and are all factors that can benefit the organization.

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Use the drivers of Quality, Learning and Valued as your jumping off point for managing Millennials so you can harness their talent, help them reach their full potential, and make the best use of their talents.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2018/10/28/these-are-millennials-top-three-motivational-drivers-at-work/

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