Want to engage millenials and get them performing at a high level? Check out this game-changing strategy…
Millennials are a part of our workforce and leaders are struggling with finding ways to engage them and relate to them. The good news is they have much to offer: they are tech-savvy, adaptable, creative and hungry. The challenge is how to meet their expectations so that they stay long enough to make a positive impact in your organization.
According to Gallup, 87% of employees worldwide are disengaged at work. The link is clear: when productivity is down, profitability suffers.
Catered lunches, company socials, and relaxed Fridays aren’t going to cut it. Nor is putting a bandaid on a problem. Focusing on work perks as a solution is for yesteryear. One executive that hired me to address their low engagement in their company told me they thought they could fix the problem buy paying their employees more money. When I asked him if the pay rises had led to lower employee turnover, he shook his head.
“Did it boost their morale, productivity or output quality?”
Again, he shook his head.
I had to gently let him know that compensation is rarely the issue. The chances are that his people – millenials, in particular, likely disliked working there.
“If you want to do what the most forward-thinking organizations do,” I told him, “you need to focus on employee engagement.”
Engagement can be defined in many ways. I like to keep it simple and define it as when people are excited to come to work, they thrive in their roles, and they understand how their work contributes to the overall success of the organization.
According to a Gallup poll, in organizations with highly engaged teams, profitability increased by 21%, sales productivity by 20%, output quality by 40% and absenteeism dropped by 41%.
The best way to get these kinds of results is through investing in training.
People want to feel valued. They want to feel like they are learning and evolving. They want to feel like they are thriving at work and contributing to something bigger than their job description. Sure, a competitive salary is important, but it is rarely the main motivator.
Many companies put their employees through leadership training to meet this need. Yet standard leadership training does not meet the needs of millenials. With their shorter attention spans, highly creative, yet often impatient minds, and need for interaction and immediate feedback, traditional learning environments doesn’t hold the attention of millenials. Brought up in an age of texting, gaming and technology, communication and team-building skills are often lacking.
With their shorter attention spans, highly creative, yet often impatient minds, and need for interaction and immediate feedback, traditional learning environments doesn’t hold the attention of millenials.
This is where games-based learning is at its most powerful. Games and simulations teach lessons and develop skills through hands-on experience.
They give immediate, on-the-spot feedback on an employee’s leadership, team building, sales, marketing, relationship-building, customer service skills and overall business acumen. The role-playing also fosters an awareness how a business works across multiple roles and departments.
According to The Cornerstone OnDemand study, 66 percent of employees will seek internal opportunities before looking for a position somewhere else.
The Bottom Line…
Giving employees the opportunity to explore various paths not only reinforces engagement by teaching them new skills, it allows them to take on different roles and responsibilities where their skills and talents can be more highly leveraged. This kind of knowledge and experience is a solid foundation for future high performing leaders and should be a key rung in any leader’s succession planning strategy.
To learn more about using gamification as part of an employee engagement and leadership development strategy, schedule a call.