Keeping customers engaged is a complicated, frustrating task. There are countless influences that enter into the equation of how much attention span consumers will devote to a brand.
One major influence that is universally accepted, however, is employee engagement. Customers will only care as far as employees are willing to take them. If employees - who are closer to a brand than anyone - don't give a damn, why should consumers?
If employee engagement is important, then millennial engagement is critical. After all, they are the largest generation in the current American workforce, and as many are quick to point out, they're very, very unique.
Or so it seems.
For most people, the fact that the youngsters want more money will elicit a big fat "Duhhhhh."
For others, it may come as a surprise. After all, this was supposed to be an idealistic generation, who selected workplaces based on the causes it supported, or maybe its earth-friendly policies.
Maybe. There's evidence those extraneous factors matter, but at the end of the day, the new generation still wants to get paid. From our growing compendium of employee engagement statistics:
- 68% of Millennials say compensation is the most important aspect of their workplace (Oxford Economics)
- 38% of millennials say money would motivate them to work harder and stay with their employer longer (Millennial Branding/Randstad)
- 41% of Millennials say higher compensation would increase their loyalty and engagement with the company (Oxford Economics)
Yeah, everybody wants a raise. That same Oxford Economics research said that 84% of employees, regardless of generation, think competitive compensation is the most important benefit a workplace can offer.
Earning Their Keep
The pushback towards Millennials seems to be that they want too much, too fast. That they haven't paid their dues. They've grown up in comfortable homes with endless entertainment and food aplenty, yet they forget their parents worked 30 years to be able to provide that standard of living.
While that may be true to some extent, to this point there hasn't been much indication that they're not willing to work to earn their money. By all accounts, the uber-connected Millennials are putting in more hours than any generation before them and digging in on highly-sought skills that are uniquely second nature to their generation.
- 28% of Millennials feel their current organization is making full use of their skills (Bentley University)
They just want to be able to work where and when they see fit, and be compensated fairly for it. Of course, this means many of them are going to want more responsibility sooner than they're able to handle it, but that's a positive when managed properly.
So how do you handle a generation that wants to get paid?
Simple, you let them prove themselves and compensate them fairly. Just like any other generation.
The good news is Millennials may be more willing to budge on what they perceive to be "fair compensation." They've shown an interest in corporate perks and they value benefits. Consider this batch of statistics from our big collection of employee engagement statistics:
- 96% of Millennials say that great health-care benefits are important in choosing a job (Deloitte)
- 78% of millennials say it is more important to enjoy work than to make a lot of money (Clark University)
- Half of Millennials would “rather have no job than a job they hate” (MTV)
- 64% of Millennials said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they think is boring (Intelligence Group)
- 8 out of 10 Millennials think they deserve to be recognized more for their work (MTV)
Give Millennials the opportunity to succeed, and recognize them when they do well. A focus on employee benefits and flexibility can also create an environment where salary is a secondary notion to younger workers - and potentially every other generation in an office.
(ambitious kid photo courtesy of robotpolisher)