If you’ve read some of my previous articles on the ATD Management Blog, you already know that I’m a big proponent of intentionally developing your employees and using a variety of tactics to keep them engaged. Innovative appreciation methods, strategies to build trust, and interviewing for natural strengths are just a few of the many suggestions I’ve provided through my content. However, as a Millennial myself, I understand that our generation can be more challenging than most when it comes to keeping us engaged.
Gallup regularly reports that only 30 percent of employees in my age group are actively engaged in the workplace. There are many reasons for this, but one of the widely reported causes points to a lack of intentional development efforts from managers. However, it’s not just the young workers who are seeking this type of behavior from managers. Employees of ALL generations have a desire to learn, grow and succeed. The difference is that Millennial workers view training and development as a “make or break” factor when it comes to choosing an employer.
So, as a manager, how can you ensure that you are sending the message to your Millennial workers that their development is of importance to you? By having effective touch point meetings. But what exactly does a Millennial need during a touch point meeting? Here are three things you may want to include in your next touch point meeting with your Millennial workers.
Millennial workplace expert Lindsey Pollak has found through her research that our generation has a desire constructive feedback on a regular basis. And she’s right. As someone in the early stages of my career, I’m always looking for people to tell me things that I didn’t even know I was doing wrong or areas of great opportunity for improvement. This will help mold my future as my career progresses and will make me a better contributor to the workplace. Be sure to include at least one piece of constructive feedback in every one of your touch point meetings with Millennials.
A Futuristic Focus
As young workers, we have a long road ahead of us and we want to know what to expect. Although it may not always be possible to predict the future, managers can emphasize how certain work assignments or projects will help shape the career path of Millennial workers and how their success will be formed as a result of their contributions. When managers focus on the future with young employees, they will continue to stay engaged and passionate about where the company is headed next.
I have always had a love for learning, and I know I’m not alone. In fact, many of my peers have told me that they love learning new things as much as I do. Whether it be through a book, a class, or an engaging lecture, we love to soak in new information and apply it to our lives. The same principle applies in the workplace. If you can teach us something new on a regular basis, you will be sure to reach our minds and engage us on a unique level. Try to implement small learning moments into your touch point meetings and you will notice a big difference in the performance of your people. As always, it is important to recognize that this model for touch point meetings with your Millennials can be applied to ALL your workers, regardless of their generation. Try it out on your younger workers and then work towards implementing it across all your direct reports. For more insight into the best practices of touch point meetings, check out the e-book, 7 Habits of the Most Successful Leaders.