Motivating and understanding Millennials

A highly accomplished Millennial herself, Kelly Lovell brings a certain authenticity to her presentation about bridging the gap between businesses and the millennial community.

Lovell started off her keynote at DealerTalkx in Toronto by busting a common misconception about who millennials are. Millennials, by definition, are individuals between the ages of 22 and 36, they account for over 80 million people in North America and currently make up the largest percentage of the workforce.

Lovell then directed her questions to the audience, in specific their perceptions of millennials. Many individuals mentioned characteristics like “entitled”, “not committed”, and “lazy” as defining attributes. Lovell explains that combating this perception is important. It isn’t that Millennials are lazy, it’s that they are incorrectly motivated.

“This is a generation that is looking to move from the ‘live to work’ mentality to a ‘work to live’ existence,” she said.

Millennials are not motivated by money, they want to be passionate about their jobs, they want to make an impact and they are highly invested in their personal growth.

More importantly, millennials are adamant about their wants. One in every three millennials is planning to leave his or her job this year. This is important as the average cost of replacing an employee is $25,000. So how can we retain millennials and motivate them to do their best work?

Here are the top 5 things employers can do to recruit and retain millennial talent:

  1. Make room for advancement: Lack of advancement and upward mobility are the #1 reason people leave, they want to have a career for life and they want to make an impact. Show your young employees the growth that they can have, create shorter milestones, provide mentorship and personal growth opportunities, and give millennials the life and work skills they need to be able to adapt to the future of the workplace.

  2. Explain things visually:
    This generation is in information overload and the majority of millennials are visual learners. Present information in a quick and easy-to-understand manner. This includes training, notices and general company communication initiatives.

  3. Make mental health a priority:
    Providing employees with better mental health assets is a huge benefit to your organization, as happy employees are proven to be more productive. Provide options, including flexible schedules, more autonomy at work, more personal and vacation days, etc. By being more accommodating, employees are better able to fulfill their own mental health needs.

  4. Build a culture:
    Being more connected makes millennials more responsive. When millennials feel like a part of the team they are much more inclined to stay at a job, even if their other needs, including salary expectations, aren’t being met. Building a culture can be as simple as organizing activities outside of work and providing social tools to make workplace collaboration easier.

  5. Set goals:  
    Ask millennials what they are passionate about and what their goals are. Understanding their personal motives can help you incentivize them on a personal level. If money is not a key motivator, then perhaps a cash bonus will not be effective.

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