7 Ways to Motivate Your Millennial Workers

If you’ve noticed more candidates under the age of 40 applying to your open positions, it’s because millennials have officially taken the top spot as the largest generation in the workforce today. But if you’ve found that the typical stereotype of Gen-Yers being uncommitted, lazy and entitled tends to ring true, either you’re hiring the wrong individuals or you’re simply not doing enough to motivate them. (Most likely, it’s the latter.) To provide some guidance in this area, here are a few proven methods for helping your younger team members reach their fullest potential.

Give them meaningful work.

Today’s workers are no longer satisfied just to be employed. They want to feel as though the work they do truly has an impact, both on their employer as well as on the world around them. They want to know your vision, values and purpose and – more importantly – they want to know exactly how their role contributes to those things. Provide your younger employees with opportunities to be a part of your clinic’s future success.

Provide Regular Feedback and Guidance

A once-a-year pow-wow is not sufficient enough to keep millennial workers engaged and performing at their best. This generation craves instant and ongoing feedback and they place a high value on mentorship. Provide your younger team members with specific, measurable and attainable goals and check in with them regularly to discuss progress. Reward good performance and offer coaching for areas that need work.

Emphasize Work-Life Balance

While older generation workers may be used to a nose-to-the-grindstone, just get the job done kind of atmosphere, millennials prefer a much greater balance. This isn’t to say that younger employees don’t care about their employer’s success. They do – just not to the detriment of their own personal peace and happiness. Millennials also tend to value time off more than they do high salaries. Keeping this in mind, try to be flexible with scheduling and be generous with your vacation policy.

Develop and Nurture Strong Relationships

Strong interpersonal relationships are incredibly important to the younger generation of workers. Make a concerted effort to bridge the gap between colleagues and management alike, on both a professional as well as a personal level. Engage in regular team building activities, inside and outside of the workplace. This helps to develop a sense of camaraderie that can foster loyalty, thereby reducing employee turnover.

Offer the Right Incentives

Millennial workers aren’t generally motivated by traditional benefits packages. As mentioned above, salary isn’t even their highest priority. As such, it can be challenging to come up with incentives that will entice and engage younger employees. Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to get creative with your benefits offering. For instance, you might consider offering free lunches, gym memberships or student loan payback assistance. Find out what hits their sweet spot and then build it into your package.

Provide Opportunities

Another thing that younger workers want is the opportunity for professional growth. Keep in mind that this may not involve actually climbing the ladder. Instead, it could be mapping a career path that enables your employees to explore different options through lateral moves. The best way to approach this is to sit down with each employee and discuss their long-term goals. Then, work with them to help develop a strategy that will help them achieve those career goals within your practice.

Play Games

There’s nothing like a little friendly competition, and gamification is a great tool to motivate and engage millennials in the workplace. Set goals and expectations along with a timeline and basic rules. Then, offer personalized rewards when objectives are met. Start simple: offer a fun incentive for promoting a specific product or service. For instance, set a goal that if the team convinces 10 clients to book a dental cleaning by the end of the month, they’ll each get a gift card. It’s simple and relatively inexpensive, but it’s a highly effective tool for getting your employees to up their game.

Millennials can be a tremendous asset to your practice, but only if they are motivated to perform at their best. Give the seven tips above a try and watch as your younger workforce develops into a group of hard-working, reliable and loyal employees.