Learning & Development

Keeping Younger Workers Engaged

Managers and HR professionals have no doubt heard of the engagement crisis among millennials and Generation Z in the workplace with the rise of terms like “quiet quitting.”

Of course, workers in any age group can and certainly do engage in quiet quitting and other symptoms of poor engagement and morale. However, businesses have become increasingly concerned about engagement when it comes to the youngest members of the workforce for several reasons.

Generational Differences

First, workers from previous generations often don’t understand the newest entrants to the workforce very well. Although it’s a natural cultural divide, it contributes to challenges in helping younger workers feel a sense of belonging.

More significantly, many younger workers have spent most or even all of their professional careers in the COVID era, meaning they’ve missed out on a huge amount of in-office socialization and community-building.

Because Generation Z and millennials make up an increasingly large portion of the workforce, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to understand what motivates these young workers and create strategies to increase employee engagement.

Importance of Recognition

One way to boost engagement is through recognition. Studies have shown that both Generation z and millennials value recognition more than any generation before them.

Therefore, consider implementing a recognition program that acknowledges their contributions and hard work. This recognition doesn’t have to be significant, though; simple awards or even small tokens of appreciation can make a difference.

The Need for Transparency

Another effective strategy for increasing employee engagement is to create an atmosphere of transparency and open communication. New members of the workforce especially value honesty and respect in the workplace. Implementing policies that encourage open dialogue is therefore essential.

Encourage employees to voice their ideas and suggestions, and be sure to follow through on any promises or commitments made.

The Impact of Technology

Another way to foster greater engagement among younger workers is through technology integration. Both Generation Z and millennials are tech savvy and accustomed to using digital tools, so incorporating modern technologies into workplace operations can help ensure these younger generational cohorts stay engaged.

A Focus on Workplace Culture

Finally, Generation Z and millennials also respond well to creative incentives and enjoyment in the workplace. Consider offering flexible scheduling options, such as remote work opportunities, or adding small perks like game rooms or snacks. By creating an enjoyable working environment, you can increase employee engagement.

By keeping these strategies in mind, businesses can effectively engage Generation Z and millennials to help buck the “quiet quitting” trend. By investing in the engagement of young workers, companies can benefit from increased loyalty and job satisfaction, which can drive both productivity and retention.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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