3 Ways to Motivate the Millennial Frontline

As of 2015, Millennials now make up a majority of the workforce. This change happened fairly quickly, and it is important for managers to prepare for this new shift in the workforce.

I myself ran into the challenge of motivating Millennials while running Nom Nom Truck. I initially felt like I could significantly impact and give adequate amounts of attention to each staff member individually, especially while training and getting to know them; but we only had a team of five at that time. It became much harder after adding 15+ new members to the roster.

There’s a new trend I recently discovered while working with prospective clients: they yearn for ways to impact their millennial frontline, and work hard to find new tools and technologies that’ll help them change with the times. Our solution pays off tremendously, as millennial reps love all the positive feedback they receive. One of our current clients even made mention that reviewing Praiseworthy was the favorite part of her employees’ days, because the accolades they receive remind them of why they do what they do.

According to a recent study (featured on Entrepreneur), 79% of employees between ages 21–30 feel that culture programs contribute to the increase in employee retention, versus 46% of baby boomers between ages 51–60. Based on my experience managing Millennials at Nom Nom Truck, and speaking to numerous clients we work with, I have come to the conclusion that these three strategies are effective ways to motivate your millennial frontline.

1. Show them what they are doing right. The Harvard Business Review has a theory that employees need six pieces of positive feedback for every one negative piece of feedback — on average. This stat is especially important for Millennials. Moreover, according to a feature on Forbes, the millennial generation responds well to encouragement and immediate feedback. I love the below video by Dr. Ivan Joseph, because he stresses the necessity of catching employees when they are on the up-and-up, and sharing insights on what they are doing right in addition to the areas in which they can improve.

2. Provide them with access to the latest technologies. The majority of Millennials are very tech-savvy. How? They have practically grown up with technology their whole lives. Offering solutions that can help them do a better job will give them the tools to excel. Millennials expect the technologies that empower their personal lives to also drive communication and innovation in the workplace, according to the Harvard Business Review. This generation, in other words, anticipates using social media and other technological tools on-the-job.

3. Give them a sense of purpose. Why should Millennials go to work every day and work hard at what they do? What is the bigger vision? These questions must be answered by leadership, and trickle down to the frontline. As for us, getting regular positive feedback through our Praiseworthy dashboard shows them why they do what they do.

Whether we are ready for it or not, Millennials are here. We need to refine our processes and company cultures for this new generation. If done correctly, you and your business will well prepare for the shift.