Millennials and how to keep them happy

Millennials - they were the generation that followed ‘X’ - and they can be a restless lot.

Defined (loosely) as those who reached young adulthood at the turn of the 21st Century, they now make up a large proportion of the UK’s workforce.

And as more Generation X employees retire, so more millennials will occupy senior positions within organisations before another generation comes in behind them.

Overall, millennials share many similar traits and a fair proportion of those traits will differ from the generation that came before them.

They are generally optimistic about life and the future and want to see clear paths forward – their idea of job hell is a role with no real prospects. They want to make an impact and progress and find employment that matches their ambition.

Needless to say, if the opportunities for the role being offered is limited, this information must be imparted at the interview because they will quickly discover the truth once they are on board.

Deloitte report: “Not impressed by the “buzz” around a business Millennials judge the performance of a business on what it does and how it treats people. For example, among those saying business “means more than a healthy balance sheet,” more than six in ten would reference the quality of its products and services (63 percent) or levels of employee satisfaction (62 percent). A majority (55 percent) focus on customer loyalty/satisfaction. Innovation and efficiency also rank highly. “

It’s important to really understand their values and what drives them – notorious multi-taskers, they’ll need to know what is encouraged and what is not to avoid any misunderstandings. They can often be impatient and in need of stimulation so anything associated with the position that is regularly long-winded and boring will quickly lose their interest.

As the most inclusive generation, you’ll need to know if they have experience of working with diverse groups when they were perhaps outside their comfort zones and how they dealt with it – their answers might encourage you to proceed or decide they are perhaps not the ideal candidate for you.

They are traditionally passionate about helping the community in some form, whether voluntary or charitable schemes they may have been involved in – if they have, find out more about it and why they took part. Selflessness and a charitable nature are excellent attributes for future leaders.

Find out what sort of environment they thrive in, from the organisation culture to how the office floor plan is designed – this could raise one or two alarms depending on the responses – or strengthen their chances.

Be clear on what their path within the business could be and maybe ask them where they’d like to be in five years’ time. If they join your team, remember that they love feedback and love to be encouraged.