5 Tips to Recruit, Engage, and Retain the Millennial Generation

If you have been following my blog for the last five months then you know that I am passionate about Human Resources and helping Millennials, Leaders, and Employers learn on how to Recruit, Engage, and Retain employees. The goal of this blog was to provide a Millennial insight on a variety of HR topics and issues. Today I would like to conclude and share with you an overview of what I have learned over the last five months of blogging, tweeting, and interviewing members of the Millennial Generation.

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There are FIVE main things I have learned about the Millennial Generation:

  1. Purpose Driven
    1. We want to work for a company that aligns with our own personal goals and values. So it is very important for employers to have a strong Mission, Vision, and Values that can easily relate to its employees. Millennials want to understand and know how they make a difference and contribute. Overall we want to be happy with ourselves and the work we are doing.
  2. Career Paths
    1. We like to know to know where we are going next. We are the most educated generation in the workforce right now. We are a generation that enjoys constantly learning, growing, and developing ourselves. So it is important to have clear Career Paths outlined so that we know where future opportunities lie and what we need to do to get there.
  3. Mentoring
    1. Contrary to popular belief Millennials do not know everything. Yes we are constantly learning but it means a lot when someone can take us under their wing and show us or give us experiences that we have not had a chance to have. Having someone to connect with and help us be successful shows us that you are invested in our success.
  4. Volunteering / Giving
    1. Encouraging or providing time for employees to volunteer or give back to a cause they are passionate about is a very important factor to engaging Millennials. Our generation is all about making a difference. Volunteering can also be a great teambuilding tool and a great way to create strong relationships to increase engagement. People enjoy giving back- it gives them a sense of pride/accomplishment and when they are doing it on behalf of your company it gives them a sense of pride in where they work.
  5. Transparency/Feedback
    1. Lastly Millennials want consistent and constant feedback on how they are doing, as well as, how the company is doing. Constant communication is important for this Generation because it is something that we are very accustomed too.

In the end we are looking to work for a company that cares about us as individuals and that has a strong purpose that aligns with our values. I hope this information helps you understand the Millennial generation a little bit better and for more in-depth information on some of these topics please feel free to read other posts from my Blog.

 

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Empowering Millennials

When starting to write this blog I asked myself- “what does empowerment really mean to me”? When I think of empowerment a couple of key words come to mind; Trust, Responsibility, Authority, and Decisions. Over the years I have heard countless times about how if you want to engage and retain your employees you have to empower them. But mangers don’t really seem to understand what that means. It doesn’t mean dumping responsibility onto someone and then making them check back with you to make all decisions. It means trusting your employee (s) or team enough to know that they will get the job done, and in a way that reflects well on you and the company.

Trust is a scary thing to give away willingly. It seems to be even harder to give away to the Millennial Generation. Millennials are young, lack experience, and often have the reputation of wanting it all now. But on the flip side we are eager to learn, to help, and are very team oriented. Millennials understand that giving up power is a difficult dilemma- you are trusting that the person you empower has the knowledge, skills, and abilities to get the job done so that it reflects well on you. Because if they fail it ultimately comes back to you. But it is good to remember that the more you empower others then the more you can focus on other aspects or strategies of leading.

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If you don’t empower others and trust them to make decisions then all you have created is a culture of fear that can’t make a decision without going through. the “bottleneck” first. So the point I am trying to make with this post is that giving people (especially Millennials) the opportunities to grow and show their competency in the work place can only benefit you. Yes we may stumble a couple of times- but we are human, it’s bound to happen regardless of age. But we thrive on that trust & that teamwork. Yes we are young but so were you once & wasn’t it frustrating when nobody took you seriously? So next time or next project – give us a chance and I know we will surprise you.

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Video Blog: Seminars and Conferences

Next week I will be volunteering and attending the Annual SHRM Conference down in Las Vegas. I am so excited to attend my first professional conference! I have only heard second-hand about all the inspiring and influential speakers that come to share their stories. In all the excitement I got to thinking about how I could apply this professional conference to my blog.

I think that is very important for companies to take steps to develop and train their employees. For example, mentoring, setting them up for certain career paths, in-house training, and more. This more piece is the one I would like to talk to you about today. More, could mean attending local seminars, breakfast meetings, or even cross country conferences. By sending your employees to offsite external trainings it could help to re-energize and motivate them.

When sending employees to conferences and seminars it shows your employees that you are invested in them. You know that they have the capability to learn and retain new information and will be able to improve the workplace with their new knowledge. And Vice Versa for the employees when they get to go and learn about the latest and greatest happenings of their profession it helps to rejuvenate that passion and excitement about their field.

So in the end the message I am trying to convey to all of you listening in is that: if you have a passion for learning, and for professional development then do what you have to do to go to these professional conferences. Show some interest, Volunteer, or pitch the idea up to your boss if it is not typically something your company does. Research and show them the benefit of attending and what great things you could bring back to improve the workplace. But find a way to gain the experience, because events like these can be life changing.

Millennial Enlightenment- Breaking Down Barriers

millennialThe other night I went to dinner at Louis Basque Corner for my birthday dinner. This is one of my favorite restaurants simply because they serve delicious food but also because they serve A LOT of it. They also do things family style- which means that they fill all seats at the table. So there is always the chance that you will be sitting with strangers and sharing a meal. Well on this particular night we did have a complete stranger from Indiana join our table and join my family and me in my birthday celebration.

Conversation started out as polite chit chat; where we were from, what we all liked to do, explaining to him what being Basque truly meant. But after some wine a deeper conversation was struck up. He started talking about the millennial generation and how we like to hope from place to place. He spoke at length about his love for solving problems but his dislike for managing others; especially my Generation. He told me about a millennial that he had briefly worked with, he said that this particular youngster didn’t even last a year. “He wanted to be running the show right off the bat, and when he saw that wasn’t going to happen he just simply left.”

So I decided to take this opportunity to educate him on the millennial generation based off of all the blog posts, interviews, and reading I have done on the topic. I told him that yes the millennial generation does “want things”, but so does every ambitious person in this world regardless of age. Yes some people have more patience than others, could I have more patience when it comes to life in general? YES OF COURSE! But having or not having patience is not a young person things- for example let’s take a look at my 68 year old father. I have never met anyone more impatient in my entire life. For example one weekend I asked him if he would like to go take the dogs for a walk. He said yes- I asked for 5 minutes so that I could put my shoes on, go to the bathroom and grab a jacket. By the time I got done with those three things he was already out the door walking down the street. When I finally caught up with him and asked him why he left? He said, “You were taking too long I couldn’t wait”

Furthermore I explained to this complete stranger that my generation is looking for a working situation or career that aligns with their personal as well as professional goals. I informed him about how we are a generation driven by purpose. If the mission, vision, and values of the company didn’t inspire us as individuals then yeah we are going to leave. We are a generation that takes advantage of the opportunity that life presents. Overall, we just want to be happy! We are a generation that is highly educated, more tolerant, and is constantly trying to learn, grow, and develop. This sense of purpose, drive, creativity, and ambition is what is motivating my generation to go out and start their own businesses by finding needs that haven’t been met yet.

I think by the end of this conversation the stranger walked away enlighten, and with a better understanding of the millennial generation. Even if it is one person or stranger at a time I love helping to dispute the terrible stereotypes that the millennial generation has accumulated. So I encourage you all to go out and do the same!

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What makes a great Employer- a Millennial Perspective

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It takes many different elements to become a great employer. Not only do you need great leadership to inspire and engage employees but you must have a culture and environment to match. In my past blog posts I have written more in depth about a number of different ways to help become a great employer. Everything from employee engagement (making sure you are measuring it correctly), employee wellness programs, career paths, mentoring, internships, networking, volunteering, training and more. All of these pieced together can help employers go from good to great.

Now you can’t just put programs and policies in place and expect it all to work flawlessly. There are some other elements that are required in order to create a great company culture. For example: Trust, Sense of Community/Ownership, Transparency, and strong Communication. There needs to be trust at all level of the organization; trust that the executive team has the organizations customers and its employee’s best interests at heart. Trust that the employees have the company’s best interests at heart, and lastly, trust between co-workers having that team/family mentality.

By creating & having that trust in all levels of the organization you can then start to build your community. A community that bans together because of a shared purpose. And by shared purpose I mean a strong mission, vision, and values that your employees can relate to and take ownership. When employees feel that they are making a difference, they take pride in their accomplishments as a team. Employers should shoot for that team mentality first within their own teams and then expand that to the entire organization.

Transparency and strong communication are other very important elements that go hand in hand with trust. Employees want leaders/organizations that are open about issues or problems that the company is facing. Who knows the lowest man in the organization might have the million dollar solution. Or sometimes many minds working together to solve a problem is better than one so being open and honest could be a benefit. Along with that transparency it is important for employers to have good communication with their employees; for example feedback. Employees need constant feedback; they want to know how they are doing, understand what they could do better, and vice versa provide their opinions/feedback about what’s going well and what needs improvement.

In the end what I am saying is that it takes more than pay, perks, and benefits to be a good employer you need passion, purpose, trust, transparency, and strong communication to be a great one. How great is your organization? Do you see some of these elements in your organization?

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Registered Nurse Millennial Spotlight- Jessica Hansen

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In my past blog posts I have provided many of my own opinions, as well as research I have read on how to “Recruit, Engage, and Retain” the Millennial Generation. So today I thought I would interview a Millennial that currently works as a Registered Nurse. I wanted to find out what it is like to work in such a highly regarded profession in the Healthcare Industry.  The individual I chose to interview today is one I know to be a very committed, caring, knowledgeable, and reliable person in her field. So I asked her the following questions:

  • What is your current job title? What company do you currently work for?

Answer:   My current title is Registered Nurse (RN) and I currently work for Renown Health on the Telemetry Unity (Cardiovascular Nursing)

  • How long have you worked as an RN?

Answer:   Almost two years now

  • What attracted you to work at the Hospital? How did you get started in this profession?

Answer: Growing up I have always had a passion for science, and pursuing a career in nursing I loved that I could apply my love for science in a way that could help people. So I decided to apply for Nursing school, upon completion of nursing school I decided that I wanted to utilize the knowledge that I gained in an environment that is challenging and up to date. From there I choose to specialize in Cardiovascular Nursing on the Telemetry Unit. My unit is fast paced and covers a broad spectrum of patient critical care.

  • What do you like most about working there?

AnswerI love the people that I work with the most. Additionally, I enjoy that every day is a new challenge that is never the same- I never have the same day twice. I also like that I have autonomy over my duties and responsibilities. I appreciate that I am trusted and respected enough to make important decisions affecting the care that I provide and my patient’s well-being.

  • What keeps you motivated & engaged in the workplace?

AnswerThe fact that I learn something new every day, and that although I am seeing someone’s worst moments I am constantly reminded of how wonderful it is to be human. What keeps me going each and every shift is knowing that I get to make a difference in someone’s life, and that sense of purpose drives me and motivates me each day.

  • Do you feel like you have opportunities to move up in this organization?

Answer: Yes- within Renown there are many opportunities to become more involved in different committees that allow you to directly affect the hospital and the community that it serves. There are also opportunities through what is called a Clinical Ladder- where you become more involved by doing research and then providing the finding of that research to the rest of the unit. By participating in this program you can help to improve and promote evidence based care and in turn be rewarded with a bonus. Additionally, there are many opportunities to be promoted into other nursing position throughout the hospital (and there are a multitude of different positions in different areas/specialties that nurses can hold)

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  • What is it like to be a Millennial working as an RN?

Answer: It’s very exciting because I am young and new in my career, but it’s also challenging in the sense that I have a lot of weight on my shoulders because I am responsible for people’s health and well-being. I think it’s exciting because Healthcare is changing a lot right now and I will get to witness and be involved in these changes. The only challenge I face in infrequent instances is patients concern with my level of experience and therefore my ability to provide sufficient care because of my youth. The way I overcome this obstacle is to share my knowledge with them so that it benefits them- for example how they are going to be successful when they leave the hospital. As well as, to always know your limits- never pretend to know something that you don’t know- and utilizing the resources/knowledge that is available to you.

In the end what I learned from this interview with Jessica is that she was able to align her love for science in a way that allows her to make a difference by saving people’s lives. She has a tremendous sense of purpose in serving her patients & her community that keeps her motivated and engaged. Additionally, she has many different opportunities and options for continued growth, development, and promotion. Overall this combination of purpose, opportunity, and constant challenge proves to be a conducive environment for the Jessica and those in the Millennial Generation. Helping people in some of their darkest moments is no easy task, in fact it is a very noble one. So the next time you come across a nurse please thank them for all that they do- because in reality they are the strong & forceful backbone of any healthcare organization.

Photo Credit: All photos were provided by and approved for use by Jessica Hansen

The Millennial Search for Self-Actualization

In the past months I have been interviewing Millennial’s in different industries and different occupations to find out what motivates and engages them. After interviewing a cop, a firefighter, and a military personnel; after interviewing someone in higher education, the food service industry, and a Baby Boomer working with a Millennial, I have learned an important lesson about how to engage & retain the millennial generation. It doesn’t matter what the size of the organization, Global, National, Local, or Non-Profit, it only matters that you provide a purpose- a vision that the employee can feel inspired by.

A sense of purpose provided by the job is what motivated each individual I spoke with. To know that the work they are doing is helping or affecting others is what this generation is looking for. The Millennial generation has been studied and examined closely because of the projected impact they will have on the work place. At a Northern Nevada Human Resources Association Diversity Seminar, some findings were presented in a very relatable way regarding generational needs. The speaker used Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs to discuss the different needs of each generation that currently makes up our work force today.

It starts with the Traditionalist Generation and how their needs related to the Safety & Security Needs on Maslow’s Pyramid. This generation, after surviving one of the worst depressions in history, wanted a stable job and stable income. Next we have the Baby Boom Generation, their needs are based on Love & Belonging in the work place. The Baby Boomers longed for an identity and usually got their identity from their workplace. They were a generation all about work. Moving on, we have Generation X, or also known as the latchkey kids. This generation was the early offspring of the Baby Boomer Generation. Because their parents were so busy working they were often left alone which created a very independent & DIY generation. That is why this generations needs aligns with Maslow’s Esteem Needs. They are a generations of Entrepreneurs that crave recognitions for their accomplishments. Lastly, we have the Millennial Generation, and as I said before this is a generation searching for Self-Actualization. We are a generation that wants to be happy, and that wants to give back.

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Once a leader, or a company understands the needs and wants of each generation, then they have the opportunity to build a strategy, (a strong mission, vision, value system), that can help create a better chance to recruit, engage, and retain their talented workforce. We all know that a company’s human capital (employees) is its most valuable asset, so the concept of putting employees first shouldn’t be a farfetched idea. Those companies that take the time to understand their employee’s wants and needs & then create a company culture to help fulfill those wants and needs are ones that are going to be around for many years to come. Can you relate to this generational pyramid of needs? What do you think?

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