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Five ways to keep millennial employees engaged

Employee engagement is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as employee satisfaction or happiness. But it is not just about that. It's the commitment of an individual to the overall vision of the organisation, the passion to drive it ahead and the desire to put his best foot forward at every stage.

Ajay Nair | September 24, 2015 | Updated 15:10 IST

Ajay Nair
It's the hottest term buzzing in HR and corporate circles, but not without good reason. 'Employee Engagement' has become a perennial issue, especially in the volatile world of start-ups.

Employee engagement is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as employee satisfaction or happiness. But it is not just about that. It's the commitment of an individual to the overall vision of the organisation, the passion to drive it ahead and the desire to put his best foot forward at every stage.

Too good to be true? Not really. A little effort and a couple of initiatives can make significant (almost tangible) impact, both within and for the company. Working with the millennial breed in start-ups will, however, require a fair amount of insight into their needs, aspirations and attitudes.

Here are some tips:

Two way talk: Communication plays a huge role in maintaining employee engagement. Constantly informing them about the company progress, initiatives and decisions will heighten connect with the broader vision of the organisation. Sharing information with people at all levels and with extreme candour apart from seeking feedback, opinions and solutions will earn their respect. But beyond that, showing the link between their work and company goals can boost performance and increase productivity like no other.

Keep in touch: Understanding employee needs, problems and grievances, and addressing them in the most constructive manner can go a long way. Most companies are reaching out to their workforce and ensuring their professional expectations are aligned with personal needs. Point to note, albeit being tech savvy and time-constrained, this brigade still appreciates human interaction over mail correspondence when it comes to their personal wellbeing.

Pit and Prove theory: Gen Y love to be thrown in a pit of challenges and allowed to prove their worth. More than the need to impress their immediate managers and superiors, this idea stems from a sense of self-actualisation and individual contribution. Further, taking challenges from a team level to a corporate level helps bring out the best in people, apart from stimulating minds and infusing enthusiasm. In the process, it proves to be a test run for future leaders within the company.

Perspiration plus recognition equals elation: Employees value companies where their individual contribution and hard work is recognised and appreciated. Compensation in monetary and non-monetary ways is important to keep the morale and motivation intact. Such individuals are likely to be more loyal to the company and willing to stay put in spite of alluring offers from elsewhere. Additionally, a happy team solves HR woes by attracting other talent who will want to hitch their wagon to yours sooner or later.

Creating a global world within: The dynamic and restless bunch in start-up companies usually yearn for a global experience in their sphere of work. Working with professionals from different countries, cultures and methodologies enables them to improve their professional and personal outlook. Having said that, it becomes imperative for the HR team to ensure they hire the right set of mix and foster such a culture within the company.

In today's competitive world, curbing employee burnout, emotional disengagement and work apathy is becoming increasingly challenging. These disgruntled employees usually take to the social media to voice their woes and can harm a company's reputation in no time.

Implementing the above, and in its true essence can possibly infuse renewed enthusiasm and dedication in the employees. Successful employee engagement will help retain talent apart from breeding a happy team who will tend to be more proactive than reactive. Employees who will be driven by passion more than pay checks!

The author is Chief Administration Officer, Housing.com

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