Proven Tips for Managing and Motivating Millennial Employees


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Written by: Guest | Best Company Editorial Team

Last Updated: February 24th, 2020

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Millennials have become the largest generation in the U.S. labor force – 56 millions of them are either working or looking for a job, meaning that they have surpassed Gen Xers.

According to polls, people aged 25 to 40 are considered to be lazy, spoiled, and entitled narcissists. This harsh generalization is the result of the fact that previous generations used to prioritize work over their personal life.

Millennials play by different rules and their choice is to ditch the 9-to-5 routine and establish work-life balance. This means that a big fat paycheck isn’t their primary motivator, which is why managers need to be more creative in order to motivate them.

Here are some tips that can be useful for managing and motivating the “Me Me Me Generation”:

Offer them leadership and guidance

Millennial employees are curious and willing to learn, which is why they will strongly appreciate the guidance and an opportunity to gain experience. Recognizing their potential and offering them a sense of direction is a worthwhile investment because they’re avid learners, and they’ll repay you with their dedication and hard work.

When hiring millennial employees, don’t expect that you’ll get out-of-the-box experts ready to take over the world. Good leaders will motivate and inspire greatness in their employees. Be prepared to work with them and show them the ropes in detail.

As Millennials don’t like the top-down management concepts, the best way to approach and motivate them is through true leadership and coaching. In other words, what they want isn’t a boss, but rather a leader.

Incentivize them with gift cards

Another characteristic attributed to Millennials is their wish to make their own choices and feel unique. So, instead of incentivizing them with gym subscriptions or spa treatments, it’s much better to let them pick their rewards.

If giving out cash isn’t a part of your company culture, a universal gift card is a perfect solution because it’s practical and memorable. Besides, a card with your company logo will turn your employees into a walking billboard.

Recognize their achievements

It’s clear that money isn’t at the top of Millennials’ list. Positive reinforcement and recognition, however, are. Generally speaking, the lack of appreciation is the main reason why 79 percent of employees quit their jobs. Also, 70 percent of employees report feeling actively disengaged at work.

These grim stats illustrate the state of the workplace, and if you don’t want to suffer a serious plunge in profits, you need to do your best to prevent employee frustration. The fact that you’re not complaining about your employees’ performance doesn’t necessarily imply that you’re satisfied with their efforts. That’s why providing feedback on a regular basis is essential.

Don’t be stingy when it comes to recognizing your millennial employees’ achievements; try doing it publicly by praising them during an office meeting.

Embrace flextime

Millennials highly value work-life balance, and being confined to their office for ten or even eight hours a day can have a detrimental impact on their motivation and engagement. Flextime and telecommuting options are some of the most desirable employee perks, so think about introducing them if you want your employees to be happy and satisfied.

Research studies have shown that working from home boosts productivity because people don’t have to waste their time commuting to work. This practice also allows them to organize their time and be with their family. Reduced travel expenses are an additional welcome benefit.

Leverage your millennial employees’ computer literacy

Millennials are the first digital and social media generation, you can greatly benefit by tapping into their expertise in this field. It can be particularly important if you’re an early Gen-Xer who doesn’t feel the need to follow the latest tech trends.

Millennial fluency in social media also means that their networking skills are impressive. In other words, Millennials can greatly contribute to the growth of your business, improve your brand awareness, help you connect with new prospects, and manage your social media outreach.

Create a pleasant work environment

As you can see, Millennials are not your conventional employees. If they have to work in an office, they want it to be a pleasant, enjoyable place. Fun and entertainment are pivotal for their job satisfaction.

That’s why big companies such as Google and Apple invested tremendous amounts of money into creating a stimulating and creative work environment. The tech giants splurged on gyms, restaurants, and other amenities and started a workplace revolution.

It stands to reason that you can’t compete with multi-billion dollar companies, but allow your millennial employees to personalize their office, offer them free healthy snacks, introduce a “take your pet to work day,” and a “leave the office earlier day,” and they will pay you back with their hard work and productivity.

These simple and affordable tips will help you manage and motivate your Millennial employees without having to break the bank.

Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist, contributor to, and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding markets, strongly believing in a holistic approach to business.

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