These days, more and more companies are opting to move to a remote workplace where employees are free to skip the commute and work from the comfort of their own homes. Since Millennials make up the majority of the American workforce, it’s important to understand how to successfully manage this group from a distance. Does motivating a generation that is constantly described as lazy and entitled sound tough? Here are some tips to make it easier:
The Millennial generation craves working in a collaborative environment, which can be challenging when employees are remote. Luckily, there are ways that managers can get around this location barrier. Remote companies should rely heavily on video chats to make Millennials feel as if they are still logging meaningful, productive time with other employees. If your remote employees work in the same general area, try to set aside an afternoon to meet in person for a team-building activity or brainstorming session. This personal contact will invigorate Millennial employees and keep job satisfaction high.
Way to Go, Millennial
Sometimes referred to as the “participation trophy generation”, this group of employees thrives off of rewards and recognition from their superiors. It may be difficult for management to remember to acknowledge a job well done when an employee isn’t right down the hallway, but it’s important nonetheless. Did someone meet a tight deadline? Take on extra work when a peer was out sick? No matter the size of the accomplishment, be sure to acknowledge the effort. Anything from a quick email to say thanks or a shout-out on the next conference call will light a fire under your Millennial employees.
In Millennials We Trust
A pet peeve of this generation is the feeling of being micromanaged. If a company is just switching to remote work, it may be hard for a manager to let go of the control of knowing that every employee is where they should be. However, Millennials will not respond well when treated as if they are not trusted. So, how is a manager supposed to walk this fine line? Set up structure. Give Millennials long-term goals to work towards; then, arrange a weekly or bi-monthly check-in to go over progress made. Fight the urge to spot-check what a Millennial is doing during the work week and the foundation for a positive, productive relationship will be in place.
A recent study showed that 45% of Millennials in the workplace are more concerned with job flexibility than pay. Millennials don’t see the value in the standard 9-5 structure of corporate America, and work well when given the opportunity to adjust these hours. Provide these flexible working hours to remote employees as long as it doesn’t impact the business or aggravate customers. Showing Millennial employees that you understand a work/life balance is needed will keep them engaged and motivated.
Provide Room for Growth
Millennials are infamous for not being afraid to job-hop, typically staying at a company for less than three years. In a remote work environment, it is even more of a priority to keep Millennials personally and professionally invested with the company. Talk to remote employees about their future careers and desired positions within the company. Research local events put on by organizations like the American Marketing Association or Chamber of Commerce and encourage employees to attend to learn new professional skills. Millennials appreciate companies that have an impact on the world outside of the product or service being offered. Encourage these employees to take time off to support events or causes that work to better the community. Personal growth is just as important to Millennials as professional growth, so a company that offers both will be sure to keep Millennials around, even from afar.