For the past several years I’ve been listening to managers complain about millennials in the workplace. They say “they’re a problem to the workplace and peers. They act as if they are entitled.”
Millennials are different.
Simon Sinek explains four characteristics to why milennials are who they are: parenting (style), impatience, technology, and environment. Sinek stated that most millennials in the workplace have difficulty reaching job satisfaction and meaningful relationships.
The corporate environment holds a responsibility.
In 2016 I met with professionals to address employee engagement services. Ninety-five percent stated wellness interests were nutrition, exercise, and stress. Millennials in the workplace require a broader wellbeing focus. Services using behavior modification change complex behaviors from poor health choices to optimal. This will improve multi-generational wellness needs within their relationships to health, stress, activities, and people.
Sinek identified three of four characteristics that are relevant to workplace performance: impatience, technology, and the environment. Corporations that address these characteristics build confidence, creativity, and social skills. Performance successes need steady, consistent, interdependent and autonomous achievements. Measure outcomes then reward performance regularly.
Experience Return-of-Investment rewards.
Financial losses include poor productivity, frequent turnover, absences, resources to train new employees, and mental or physical healthcare premiums. Time constraints include the hiring process, seeking temporary staffing, and unmet deadlines. Corporations that stood behind strengthening employees were rewarded with significant and profitable rewards.
Satisfied millennials in the workplace is a selling point. These three effective steps offer a starting point:
- Listen to employees at least once a month. Approach individuals with a beginners mind. Observe and clarify the issues of job satisfaction. Hire a performance coach. This reinforces empathy necessary to improve performance. Active listening demonstrates respect and challenges assumptions of performance issues.
- Less programs and more process. Use process to guide employee’s achievement in personal health, work tasks, and cultural harmony. Programs provide no guarantees to improving performance. Autonomy derives from a facilitated process. Autonomy is defined as ‘self-directing freedom and especially moral independence’. Personal work values and desired performance incentives vary. Process provides a guide that supports diversity and simulates design thinking. It unleashes creative problem-solving, freedom to set relative goals and desired incentives. Those challenges create experiences that make change stick.
- Portray and convey a healthy environment. A healthy environment includes satisfied employees engaged in meaningful work and relationships. Temptations and barriers in the environment divert employee’s focus from work responsibilities and relationships. The costs are time and money. Portray and convey health-driven values by syncing employee’s personal passions with work culture pursuits. A top-down leadership approach to performance will create a satisfied, meaningful culture.