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What’s the Secret to Engaging Gen Y Workers?

What’s the Secret to Engaging Gen Y Workers?

Fact: Millennials are entering the workforce en masse. Therefore, employers and workers from earlier generations shouldn’t be so quick to write off the generation that now makes up the largest segment of the workforce. In order to properly leverage this differently-thinking group, managers need to understand a few things about how Gen Y thinks, behaves, and what they value.


First of all, Millennials generally hold a strong desire to balance their professional and personal lives--or, in simpler terms, they want a life outside of the office. As a result, they will possess a rabid work ethic during their office hours if it means that their time at home is really their time. At the same time, they also want a greater level of control in how that time is balanced.

For instance, if given the choice between spending their time commuting to the office to do their work, or working from home, the majority of Millennials would rather work from home, devoting more time to company business. Recent estimates put the number of Americans working from home at around three million, with an anticipated growth rate of 63 percent in five year’s time. With recent figures from Pew Research Center stating that 64 percent of Millennials want the option to work from home on occasion, that growth seems feasible.

Also serving their desire for work/life control, Pew found that 66 percent of Millennial workers wanted to see a shift in their work hours--something a self-managed, work-from-home approach would allow.

Secondly, a goal shared by many Millennials is to experience career growth and improvement. They want to have a mentor-pupil relationship with their boss, rather than that of a superior and an underling. Their prime motivator is self-improvement, and so they will seek challenges in order to gain more education and experience. Upward mobility is very important to the Millennial employee as well, and they are more likely to actively seek opportunities to improve their professional and/or financial standing.

Members of Gen Y want a situation in which their individual input to the big picture is valued and validated. Therefore, it’s recommended that new hires are given smaller responsibilities in the prospect of advancing to bigger and better things.

They also crave feedback and evaluation following their accomplishments and their failures. By giving a young employee regular responses to their work, you can teach them to be a better employee while simultaneously allowing them to feel valued and work harder toward improving. An important thing to keep in mind is that Millennials will strive to grow one way or another, and so if they are unable to do so at your company, they will move on to other opportunities.

Finally, Millennials were raised among more technology than any generation before them, and so can adapt more easily to unfamiliar systems. Again, the generation as a whole has a tendency to relish challenges, so giving them tasks where they can use your most cutting-edge solutions will give them an incentive to stay and excel on behalf of your business.

Not sure if you have the solutions that Millennials would respond to? White Mountain IT Services can equip your business with the latest and greatest technologies that Millennial workers prefer. Call us at 603-889-0800 to learn more.

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