Don't bore or ignore millennials: They're all in at work!

Employers that believe they can lock in millennial workers for life have another thing coming, especially if they fail to offer growth and learning opportunities.

For the most part, analysts say, millennials (those who are now ages 17 to 37) see aspects of their jobs as achievements to be pursued in segments, not as lifetime commitments. Unlike previous generations, younger workers think in terms of “missions” to be completed as precursors to future opportunities. One recent study identified their top three work-related fears as a lack of development opportunities, an inability to realize their career goals and an inability to find jobs matching their personalities. Other studies point to their greater job-hopping proclivity.

“The endless grind does not work for most millennials,” advises Evan Burns on Inc.com. “They seek to build their work and passions in blocks, just like the army does missions.”

The message for employers? They must provide more learning and achievement opportunities to keep millennial workers engaged (and employed). Some suggestions:

  • Incorporate development opportunities such as in-house speakers and workshops, leadership conferences and tuition reimbursement. "If you do not provide development, it's like a slap in the face,” advises Jeremy Kingsley in Forbes.
  • Offer increasing levels of responsibility as they succeed at assigned tasks. Managers accustomed to slower timetables for employee advancement may have to compromise.
  • Offer continual feedback so they know you’re paying attention and interested in their success. “They want ‘in’ on the whole picture and to know the scoop,” recommends Susan M. Heathfield on TheBalance.com. “Plan to spend a lot of time teaching and coaching.”
  • Make recognition meaningful. “Give him or her a thoughtful, personalized reward that sends the message ‘We recognize how well you're performing. You're going places with this company,’” advises Jeremy Boudinet on Ambition.com.
  • Listen to their ideas and opinions, and take them seriously. “What’s happening next is their mantra,” writes Heathfield. “Don’t bore them, ignore them or trivialize their contribution.”
  • Ward off boredom — and get more accomplished — by optimizing their unprecedented capacity for multitasking.

Ultimately, inclusiveness is key, Kingsley says.

“Millennial workers are more likely to look for meaning and impact in their work and aren't satisfied simply punching a clock,” he advises. “Helping them understand their role in a larger plan gives them a clearer sense of purpose.”

Take this short quiz published by Hireology, Do you know how to hire millenials?