We're often asked about how best to motivate and engage younger workers, and unsurprisingly, research suggests that younger workers have different motivators than previous generations.
They want to work for a company with strong values and will take time to consider what an opportunity will be able to give them. Salary is no longer the main driver for attracting and retaining talent, particularly younger workers, and we are seeing that it's the intrinsic benefits that are becoming more desirable.
There have been some pivotal changes in society over the last 20 years that businesses need to address including technology, removal of geographical boundaries in work through technology, embracing diversity and inclusivity and social responsibility.
So what steps should you be taking to revitalise your engagement and motivational strategies?
Recruitment – First things first, look at your employer proposition, is it attractive to the audience you're trying to reach? What are you saying about your business, does it truly reflect what is your organisation all about? Revisit your website thinking as a prospective candidate, are your company values on there? What does it say about your work culture and career development opportunities? Are you letting people know what activities that the business may be involved in within the local community?
Think about your company's USP – What will attract people to come and work for you and importantly, stay with you? Is it your working environment? Opportunities to progress? Flexible working arrangements? Whatever you include in your offering must be genuine as the reality upon hiring must match what you've sold to someone at interview.
Most younger people seeking employment will always do their research and first stop in their journey will be to visit your website, look up any social media profiles, and try and get some insight into the business culture and values. Your interactions when dealing with candidates in the recruitment process should reflect the company values. Getting this right will help you to get the right people with the right motivation for your business.
Technology – The expectations for work these days is that it is predominately influenced by technology. If your business isn't doing this at the moment you should think about how you can start to use technology here, as younger candidates are now seeing this as the 'norm'. On the flip side though if your business has a USP in retro, vintage or original/old-school methods, make sure you use this to your advantage. Utilise tools that your target audience are likely to use outside of work when considering how to engage best e.g. social media platforms. Use pictures in your social media, as it's proven to increase engagement with your posts.
Training – There's now a strong preference for an immediate, effective learning experience through short chunks, and intuitive methods. Most of us now turn to the sites like YouTube when we want to know how to do something, so consider whether use of videos can aid your training plans.
This also applied to your on-boarding experience which should be simple and effective. Consider whether you could commence some training prior to the first day through online-modules? By day one ideally you should have all info in place already, and look to make transition in as seamless as possible
Engaging managers – Involve people that can be true role models in leadership roles and bring your company values to life in their approach. Build the values into your review/appraisal systems but also build a culture where immediate feedback becomes the norm. In today's responsive technological world, "immediate action" is now an expectation. Feedback shouldn't be restricted to an annual or biannual review. If someone's done a good job, let them know!
Reward proposition – Non-financial benefits are increasingly seen as more important, individuals want to get more out of a business than just money. There is now a much larger focus on wellbeing; financial, mental and emotional, as well as being a great place to work. Opportunities for supported progression through small steps and personalised progression plans with opportunities for sabbaticals, secondments etc. and the ability to collaborate on projects is also attractive. There is now a greater expectation for mentoring/reverse mentoring which can be really beneficial for both parties in the process in aiding learning from both sides.
It may seem like there's a lot to do, but taking the time to review your current position will really pay off. Start small and break down your plans into steps of what's feasible to do straight away to get some 'quick-wins' and what will take more work to get in place.
Please note our blog posts contain general information and are intended as guidance only and should not be taken as an authoritative or current interpretation of the law. Please ensure that you obtain advice tailored to your individual situation before taking action. These posts apply to the UK only.