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Engaging digital natives at work critical, says expert

10 Jun 2016

The millennial generation is a different breed of worker, and have a tendency to stay in jobs for much shorter periods than their predecessors, according to REFFIND, who says the trend in high staff turnover can cost businesses significant time and energy.

REFFIND says that because the generation of millennials makes up an increasing percentage of today’s workforce, it is vital for businesses to find new ways to engage this demographic.

Rob van Es, chief operating officer at REFFIND says that as the first digital natives, millennials are the most social and connected and have different priorities when it comes to workplace satisfaction.

“High turnover rates can be costly for organisations for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there’s the time and expense of finding, hiring, and training new talent,” van Es says.

“There is also the cost that comes from losing knowledge and experience. A high employee turnover can result in workflow disruption and productivity decline,” he explains.

REFFIND has identified eight steps to keeping millennials more engaged at work and reducing turnover: 

Establish a foundation of fair work practices 
Promoting fairness and equal opportunity can help generate a culture in which engaged employees want to work on challenging projects, growing their careers while helping to advance the company. 

Design employee engagement initiatives for both the company and employee 
The benefits gained from employee engagement programs can be optimised if they are designed with both the company and the employee in mind. Ensuring employees have an enjoyable experience when participating in engagement activities can help to maximise results. 

Recognise everybody’s achievements 
It’s important to recognise the achievements of staff members whose accomplishments may be less visible than frontline employees. Team lunches, thank you cards or post-it notes, and verbally thanking employees are effective ways to recognise and appreciate positive employee contributions. 

Ensure employees know the value of their contribution 
Employees who clearly understand the importance of their individual contributions are more likely to feel more appreciated by, and engaged, with their employer. 

Reward and incentivise excellence 
Effective work incentives are not always monetary, as there are many alternative ways to reward staff for great work. It’s important to avoid a one-size-fits all approach when it comes to incentive strategies. Creating a quarterly awards event which showcases the achievements of employees who regularly excel can be a fun and motivating way to reward staff and boost morale. 

Make sure employees understand the business and its brand 
The more time and energy employers invest in making sure their workers really understand the company and its brand, the greater the alignment between worker and employer will be. Regular training and communication between management and employees emphasising the goals and objectives of the business can help achieve this. 

Walk the talk when it comes to leadership 
If company leaders want engaged, positive, passionate, and energised employees, it’s important that they demonstrate these qualities themselves. 

Genuinely seek opinions and ideas 
Asking employees for their ideas and feedback is a valuable contributor to great engagement. It’s important to follow these up with actions to leverage employees’ ideas and ensure they feel heard and understood. 

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