As your youngest workers begin with your company, have you given thought as to how best to integrate them into your organization? Millennials, on the whole, do have a different way of perceiving themselves and their place in the world, Capitalizing, not complaining, about those differences will help you avoid costly turnover in the ranks of your youngest employees.
Below are 5 solid approaches to consider as you connect with and channel these new workers into your corporate culture and workflow. You’ll see an emphasis on inclusion, impact, communication, growth, and fulfillment. All things that matter to Millennials.
1. Think through and deliver a thoughtful, multi-day onboarding process. Invest up to the first two weeks, not just a few hours, introducing the new hire to the workings of the company (all departments), the processes and theories that go into efficient workflow and team collaboration, and the culture of your facility.
2. Consider providing the new hire with a mentor. Someone who will take a special interest in the person’s success and serve as a resource and “translator” for what’s happening at your organization.
NOTE: If you do this, you should also build a “How to Be an Effective Mentor” program. People with good intentions still need good training to mentor well.
3. Have programs in place that will combat the communication differences between the 25-year-olds and the 55-year-olds. The two groups will frustrate one another, though never meaning to. Here are a few of the perception challenges they’ll have of one another –
a. “Youngers” don’t want to “pay their dues”
b. “Olders” feel disrespected by a perceived lack of work ethic or attention to detail
c. “Youngers” want to “make a difference” right away
d. “Olders” prefer face-to-face communication, not texts
NOTE: You may want to hire an outside expert to help your team understand these communications differences and to help you build your program. You may even consider hiring this person to run the program quarterly. Ongoing training & progress monitoring is critical to ensuring these advances will take hold over the long run.
4. Once your new hires have been around, you’ll want to keep them engaged and not jumping ship in 9 months. Consider investing in job cross-training, production theory seminars, and going to school for various certifications. This generation is “self-centered” – they want to be happy, fulfilled, and do what they want. To keep them engaged, offer opportunities to grow.
5. Keep them informed of company plans, vision, milestones, quarterly progress, new initiatives, ideas being pondered – they want to know what’s happening or they feel cut off. Remember, this is the generation that believes they should be involved in EVERYTHING!
Whether you agree with their perspectives or not, it makes sense to acknowledge and deal with how Millennials think and what their perceptions are. That’s how you’ll best understand how to make them involved and productive members of your team.