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5 Ways To Motivate Millennials With Your Smartphone

5 Ways To Motivate Millennials With Your Smartphone

We all increasingly dependent on our smartphones. They have revolutionized the way that businesses work, and we are no longer stuck to desks all day or chained to our computers. Today’s millennials almost never put down their mobiles and it’s common to see them in restaurants and cafes as a group, all staring at their phones and tablets. Millennials are a unique generation due to their vastly different attachment to their smartphones.

To many traditional managers, millennials are viewed negatively – as a laid-back, narcissistic and sometimes irksome bunch. On the positive side, millennials in the workplace are confident, have a can-do attitude about new responsibilities and seek out feedback frequently.

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In about 10 years’ time, today’s millennials will make up about 75% of the workforce. To learn how to best work with millennials, you should focus on being a coach and mentor, providing growth opportunities and social workplace connecting teams.

Technology: a crucial tool for millennial productivity

There is one trait that unifies the millennial generation – they are far more in tune with communication technology than any other generation. Being tech savvy, they carry their laptops with them, use tablets to check the news and their biggest nightmare is to leave the house without their smartphone.

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Over 80% of millennials own a smartphone and they rely heavily on them – an average millennial checks their smartphone 43 times per day.  Unsurprisingly, another survey found that 53% of 13-33 year olds claim that they “wouldn’t be able to live” without a smartphone.

This dependability on technology can be a leverage to motivate the ‘plugged-in’ generation. Instead of forcing millennials in the workplace to turn off their smartphones, you can use them as a great tool to supervise, motivate and interact with millennial employees.

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5 ways to use a smartphone to motivate millennials

  1. Connect on social networks – most of millennials spend most of their time on social media. To keep them motivated, you could create a closed social network group where employees can connect and share company news, information about projects or discuss issues and ideas freely. Providing feedback on social media is a great strategy which builds the confidence of millennials in the workplace.
  2. Getting more done through a mobile to-do list Productivity apps like Producteev, Trello or Slack are great examples – they’re simple task management applications that can be downloaded on a smartphone and used on a desktop. You can make various to-do lists by assigning different tasks within the team, adding deadlines and sending reminders. Notifications pop up on a smartphone when new tasks are given or a deadline is reached, so millennials can stay connected whilst being on the go.
  3. Enable email access – you should give the flexibility and freedom for millennials to answer emails at their leisure. They want to take ownership of the success of a project or new product launch as well as be able to answer emails on their commute or whilst waiting for a train. By giving access to company emails on their smartphones, you can give them more freedom and independence in how they manage their work. Don’t impose too many rules on millennials and give them autonomy to bring the best out of them.
  4. Work smarter and create learning opportunitiesmillennials really want to learn and develop themselves. You could use a smartphone to share interesting articles, answer their questions and mentor them.
  5. Encourage feedback – it’s extremely easy to create an online survey free of charge. When millennials are allowed to give the feedback in their own time, on smartphones, they will be more likely to respond. This can give valuable insight into the millennials’ needs and be really motivating.

Bringing it all together

Today, millennials are revolutionizing organizations and how teams should be managed. These young people are highly motivated and their high usage of mobile phone devices can be used as a tool to unlock their potential in the workplace.

Millennials love to use their smartphones. As a result, managers have to adapt their leadership style and learn the new way on how to motivate and lead millennials in the workplace.  The rise of portable devices has made interpersonal communication easier than ever before. To most people (and especially millennials) this means more flexibility, giving opportunities to work from any location.

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What’s important is that simply using the smartphone alone doesn’t make motivated and efficient team member. It’s the way how you want the Millennials to use it – that counts. As a leader, you set the policy and set the tone – keep them connected and energetic. On the other hand, making the work more fun, giving them autonomy and expanding their horizons is something that needs to be done to motivate millennials in the workplace.

Millennials in the workplace have great potential, but we need to be more flexible to unlock it. Managers who can find the right balance in utilizing the smartphones as a motivational tool will make their young and ambitious team to work smarter, not harder.

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Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

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Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

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