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How millennial-minded are you?Millennials now make up the largest segment of the Canadian workforce, and they’re set to make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020. As baby boomers retire, millennials (along with upcoming generation Zers) will fill their roles. Most of us know we should be looking at our workplaces with an eye to attract and retain top young workers.

How millennial-minded are you? Here are five strategies to consider:

1.) Be Social. Review your social media presence. In this highly connected age, are you coming across as current and relevant to a younger employee base?

Chances are good that younger employees have a superior grasp on social media and technology. Find out what they do in their free time and see if you can integrate that into their work responsibilities. Does your employee have an understanding of web design? Are they addicted to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram? Use their interests and strengths, and find out what they can teach you, or what existing processes they might be able to improve on. Younger employees want to feel proud of the place that they work, and are likely to stick around longer if they feel a sense of investment in their work.

2.) Play Games. Companies like Walmart and Qualcomm are using gaming to engage the younger segment of their workforce, through onboarding and recruitment processes that include high tech components designed to keep candidates motivated and engaged with the company’s strategy.

Are there ways your company could reach out and gain the attention of a younger workforce? It doesn’t have to be high tech gaming systems: keep younger employees interested and motivated on an emotional level by integrating fun non-cash incentives, start a hockey pool, even keep some board games around the office for lunch breaks. Little things can make work a space that employees want to be in!

3.) Tailor your Approach. There are a plethora of articles on the internet, books, memes and jokes circulating about millennials in the workforce. While humorous, these sweeping generalizations should be taken with a grain of salt. As a manager, remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing an entire segment of the population. Don’t assume that your millennial worker wants to be self-directed, needs a flexible work environment, is an expert multi-tasker, needs variety to thrive, or was born with an iPhone in their hand. Take the time to learn about your younger workers as individuals.

Open your HR mind to #millennials: put their social media savviness & creativity to work for you. Twitter_logo_blue

4.) Take a Step Back. It is easy to be nervous about trusting younger, less experienced workers to complete projects and tasks alone. But if you’re confident you’ve selected and hired the right employees, show you know they can do it by putting those big brains you’ve hired to work. Demonstrate trust in your younger employees’ abilities by presenting challenges, then step back and let them problem solve independently.

5.) Prepare Them to Manage. As more Generation Z workers flood the workplace, and Boomers retire, millennials are moving into management roles. Prepare them to succeed by creating opportunities for leadership development. Look ahead to identify what future roles might need to be filled, and start preparing your younger employees to excel in these positions.

Your Engaged HR Assignment

Want to attract top notch young talent? Ask existing younger staff to come up with an action plan to boost your organization’s youth appeal. You’ll be taking advantage of their social media savvy, using their creativity, and developing their leadership abilities in the process.

What strategies have you come up with to engage younger employees? We’d love to hear your ideas!

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