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Finding, Hiring, and Retaining Young Employees, Sidebar: 10 Ways to Keep Millennials Engaged

Amy Larrabee and Erica Robinson of Atlanta-based Bell Oaks Executive Search share these 10 tips for keeping your Millennial workers on board for as long as possible:

  1. Increase responsibility. Millennials thrive when given real responsibility. It gives them a sense of ownership, while making them feel connected and valued by the organization.
  2. Be a mentor. Millennials have grown up with an abundance of role models—from parents who worked full time and still attended every soccer match and dance recital to the latest batch of reality stars.
  3. Acknowledge accomplishment. Millennials have been encouraged by parents, teachers, and coaches from an early age. They grew up on a reward-based system and are used to being recognized for hard work and achievement.
  4. Work together. Millennials love working in teams. Teamwork was an important element to the Millennials’ upbringing. From preschool to MBA courses, Millennials were encouraged to work in groups and as a result, they have developed strong team building skills and peer bonds.
  5. Listen to them. Millennials have grown up with loving, attentive parents who value their opinions and give them a voice. As a result, they have been encouraged to think differently and bring confidence and a fresh perspective to the workplace.
  6. Create life/work balance. To Millennials, work is only one part of a well-rounded life. Having the label of the busiest generation ever, they play sports, volunteer in the community, participate in clubs, and don’t let work take priority over those things.
  7. Make use of technology. Millennials have grown up with laptops, mobile phones, gaming consoles, and iPods. They created an entire language for texting. They are incredibly tech-savvy and consider communication through those enablers the norm.
  8. Keep them challenged. Millennials have grown up participating in multiple sports teams, student activities, and social clubs. Millennials like constant stimulation, new projects, and learning opportunities. They lose interest if they feel their work is falling into a routine.
  9. Remember the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated. Respect is a two-way street, and Millennials will contribute more time and effort when they feel they are respected by managers and colleagues.
  10. Have fun. Millennials believe that life is too short to take too much too seriously. They want to take one day at a time and make the most of it.
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