Millennials are bored and disconnected at work.
Millennials are bored and disconnected at work.
A staggering 71% of millennials are not engaged or actually actively disengaged at work. Surely every employer wants to create the most efficient and pleasant work environment for their employees, but statistics don’t lie and the majority of your younger work force is most likely bored at work. There are several creative solutions to boosting employee engagement, targeted events are just one of the many ways to engage and include your staff in the running of your company. Events can be utilised to eradicate disconnect between management and staff, encouraging and inspiring both professional and personal relationships.
Studies carried out by the Workplace Research Foundation demonstrates that increasing employee engagement investment by just 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. Proving just how important it is to boost your employee engagement for the benefit of staff as well as revenue. Although still in its infancy, research shows positively engaging employees in the strategy, aim and direction of the company boosts productivity, creates better leaders and promotes efficiency. So why, with all this information, is employee engagement still lacking, and what can be done about it?
There are a number of factors working toward this severe level of disengagement. One of the main factors is a stark disconnect with managers. The older baby boomer generation are not able to connect with the values and needs of millennials. Changing values and the rise of social media means that many companies need to revaluate their engagement policies.
So where do bicycles come into this? Introducing events that appeal to the green, health conscious millennials as well as incorporate social causes are just some of the ways that companies can increase engagement. CSR, Corporate Responsibility Projects, are the perfect way build teamwork and give back to the community. Building bicycles for charities and communities in Africa helps to enforce working as a team, promotes healthy living and also, most importantly, is for a great cause.
Generational gaps are not the only issue at hand. Many millennials have unrealistic expectations for their entry level jobs. Eager to have their ideas heard and make a difference, they are utterly disenchanted to learn that they are simply there to make the wheels turn. CSR projects are simply one of the ways to engage employees and make them feel valued. Whilst there are many nuances to achieving perfect employee engagement, one of the many answers is to plan events. From Friday night drinks to annual conferences, there are many activities that speak directly to the younger generation; giving staff a sense of value and create a deeper connection with your company.
Employee engagement is about promoting a healthy dialogue, thus creating a more productive and creative workforce; making your company a place where people want to do great work. One of the largest challenges facing the corporate market today is employee retention. Resourcing is becoming more competitive and the list of reasons to move onto new opportunities is ever growing. According to APA’S Workforce Retention Survey, 56% of people stated that ‘feeling connected to the organisation’ was a priority for staying with a company. Giving your employees a voice is the key to feeling valued by their colleagues and connected to their work, instead of being a small cog in a monotonous machine.
Employee engagement should be pertinent in the day to day activities of any member of staff; however specifically targeted events, such as team building, to promote employee engagement are an excellent way to initiate dialogue between employer and employee.
A few of the events we think could boost employee attitude to work and your company.
1. Team Building
There are so many new exciting ways to build connections with your staff. Consider cocktail making classes and wine tasting to really facilitate communication, or perhaps your very own company Great British Bake Off. Alternatively charity team building events, such as a 30 mile kayak ride, group triathlon or maybe even Tough Guy, cement relationships and make everyone feel good – working toward a tangible goal together. Through working together on problem solving and goal setting, staff build personal relationships with their colleagues and understand how they can work as a cohort to the best of their ability.
2. Christmas Party/Summer Ball
These events are perhaps the most obvious events, but the cliché exists for a reason. It’s a great way to make each employee feel special and valued within the company. Don’t scrimp on venue or location, if you’re doing it, do it in style. Connect with employers and create a dialogue through shared love for a bit of glamour and feeling good – just as long as there are no photocopiers involved.
3. One to one with the CEO
Feedback is more important than ever. The traditional semi-annual review is no longer suitable for the fast paced and ever changing commercial and executive worlds. Employees want to know how to improve and one to ones with CEOs are a direct and purposeful way of achieving what is best for your staff and for your company. Take some time to schedule a video call or even make a point of setting time aside to sit down and actually chat to your employees. You could also use video conferences as a forum for staff to ask questions. We recently had staff take turns in a Paxman style interview. It is an excellent way to show them that they are valued and known by the people at the very top of the organisation.
4. CSR projects
Millennials are increasingly motivated to help change the world for the better. A great way to harness this and incorporate organisation bonding is through Corporate Social Responsibility projects. CSR Projects can be anything from the previously mentioned bicycles build for communities in Africa, to painting and rebuilding the local community centre. Volunteering together encourages bonding between colleagues and getting to know what really matters to your staff. Seek thier ideas and suggestions. Consumers and clients more likely to buy into an organisation that gives back and does good for the community.
5. Friday night drinks
What better way is there to get to know a colleague than over a casual drink? Finish Friday at 4 for a POET’S day (look it up, it’s not as cultural as you think) to get set for the weekend. Choose a local pub or bar where employees can wind down after a busy week together. Friendly and fun, it’s the least intimidating way to make staff feel at ease around management outside the office. Communication is the heart of employee engagement.
6. Annual Conference
These are the events that every member of the company should look forward to and collaborate on. Companies often miss a trick by simply talking at their employees. Include your staff in the run up to the conference, asking them for suggestions on content and what they would like to see and discuss at the conference. Build anticipation through social media by releasing teaser pictures and videos created by staff of what to expect. Whilst conferences should be informative it’s also important to combine this with lighter moments. Think about sustainable activities to engage your younger audience, millennials are all about green living and keeping healthy. Short jogs or yoga sessions in the morning, or create a competition around healthier conference food and drink. One event we ran had a competitive FITBIT team challenge. There are many ways to keep everyone participating and interested. It’s also important to engage with the audience on a digital platforms, use Snapchat, instagram, Facebook and whatsapp to create group chats. You could also post video interviews to share and discuss content and even use gamifacation to encourage participation. Conferences should be good fun, but are also great opportunities to network with people you normally wouldn’t see or talk with, it also makes CEOs and management more accessible to their employees. Incorporate activities into your Gala dinner that allows your accounts team to get to know human resources and has the legal department to mingling with marketing. Conferences reinforce a sense of being part of a large entity create an event that is tangible and build the feeling of community in your company.
For more ideas on employee engagement events please contact me on LinkedIn