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SMART Objectives for the New Generation: Keeping Millennials Engaged at Work (Infographic)

Nervous man looking how the interviewer is reading his resume during a job interview.

By 2025, Mil­len­ni­als will make up around 75% of the glob­al work­force. It would be easy — and wrong — to assume they’re just like the gen­er­a­tions that came before them. In real­i­ty, Mil­len­ni­als are more like­ly to job-hop and pre­fer a col­lab­o­ra­tive work cul­ture over a com­pet­i­tive one. For busi­ness­es to accom­mo­date this group, it’s nec­es­sary to under­stand their needs, wants and desires.

So how do you keep Mil­len­ni­als engaged at work? Take a look at our info­graph­ic and see how your busi­ness could ben­e­fit from mak­ing a few Mil­len­ni­al-friend­ly changes:

An infographic on the importance of SMART Objectives and Regular Feedback to motivate millennials at work

There is some debate about what con­sti­tutes a Mil­len­ni­al”, but it’s gen­er­al­ly agreed that those aged 18 to 34 come under the umbrel­la term. You might have also heard the term Gen­er­a­tion Y”, which refers to the same age group. What­ev­er you call them, they’re about to monop­o­lise the workplace.

What Moti­vates Mil­len­ni­als at Work?

Mil­len­ni­als are more like­ly to val­ue time over mon­ey, with 88% want­i­ng work-life inte­gra­tion. This isn’t the same as a work-life bal­ance — they want to val­ue their time at work and not feel like they’re liv­ing for the week­end. Your com­pa­ny should be set­ting devel­op­ment objec­tives that focus on per­son­al as well as pro­fes­sion­al enhancement.

As a group, they also tend to val­ue social respon­si­bil­i­ty. 64% of Mil­len­ni­als say it’s a pri­or­i­ty for them to make the world a bet­ter place. By show­ing you care about issues oth­er than prof­it, you’ll be more like­ly to attract and keep Mil­len­ni­als. This new gen­er­a­tion grew up with the inter­net, so your cor­po­rate social respon­si­bil­i­ty (CSR) efforts should include social media and online crowdfunding.

The Impor­tance of SMART Objec­tives and Reg­u­lar Feedback

Hav­ing grown up with the instant respons­es of social media and mes­sen­ger apps, Mil­len­ni­als appre­ci­ate reg­u­lar feed­back. With your younger employ­ees, fre­quent and infor­mal feed­back is what they val­ue most high­ly. How­ev­er, there is still an impor­tant place for SMART objec­tives and devel­op­ment objec­tives. Set­ting goals that are mea­sur­able and real­is­tic sat­is­fies the feed­back loop that Mil­len­ni­als have come to value.

If appraisal time is loom­ing and you’re dread­ing it, con­sid­er replac­ing annu­al appraisals with short­er, more reg­u­lar check-in” meet­ings through­out the year. Down­load our free one-to-one meet­ing tem­plate which you can use to help struc­ture your check-ins.

What Your Busi­ness can do to Attract and Keep Millennials

Our bod­ies have built-in bio­log­i­cal rhythms that change as we get old­er. For those under 55, start­ing work at 9am can be dam­ag­ing to the mind and body. Shift the start time of your business’s work­ing day to 10am and you could see a huge pro­duc­tiv­i­ty boost from the Mil­len­ni­als on your payroll.

You might also con­sid­er more amor­phous work­ing con­di­tions, such as flex­i­ble hours and remote work­ing. 81% of Mil­len­ni­als think they should be allowed to decide their own hours, and with the inter­net allow­ing for more work to get done remote­ly than ever before, it seems unrea­son­able to deny them this oppor­tu­ni­ty. As long as they get the work done — which you can mon­i­tor using SMART objec­tives and reg­u­lar feed­back ses­sions — you’ve got noth­ing to lose.

Anoth­er aspect of the work­place that is chang­ing — part­ly because of the influ­ence of Mil­len­ni­als — is the tra­di­tion­al dress code. 79% of Mil­len­ni­als think that they should be allowed to wear jeans to work, high­light­ing a seis­mic shift in atti­tude. Face­book founder Mark Zucker­berg says he wears the same casu­al out­fit every day to ensure that he can ded­i­cate all of [his] ener­gy towards just build­ing the best prod­ucts and services”.

Many of the things that shaped the work­place are being chal­lenged by mod­ern sci­ence and chang­ing atti­tudes. If you want to attract and keep Mil­len­ni­als, don’t let tra­di­tion shape your workplace.

This info­graph­ic was brought to you by Clear Review.