Millennials in the Workplace: Engagement Practices are Key.

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Right out of college with freshly minted degrees, today’s graduates are entering the workforce in a job market with a lot of baby-boomer employers and a big generational gap. Just what does a new college grad look like? What are they looking for in a job? And can employers expect loyalty and long-term employment?

Below are a few key tips to keep in mind when hiring this new generation of college graduates:

  • Give them a voice – Take the time to engage with new hires and request feedback. Feeling valued within their job is key to today’s new graduates. Even at entry-level positions, they want to work in an environment where they have a voice, and their ideas and insights matter.
  • Give them a big picture to work for – Does your company have a big picture? If so, get your employees excited about your overall purpose and goals. New hires aren’t just searching for a job; they are searching for a job with meaning.
  • Provide Incentives – Encouragement and rewards can go a long way. When your employees do a good job, provide incentive for the continued effort. New college grads are looking at company culture more and more, and the morale of your employees can either be attractive or a turn-off.
  • Respect their time – Don’t look for this generation to work lots of over-time and weekends. The new generation of college graduates is in pursuit of a job that will allow them to work to live, and not live to work. They expect to live their life and will take vacation and weekend time off.
  • Show loyalty to receive loyalty – This generation of new graduates is not shy about changing jobs. A lot of them saw their parents’ generation get laid off, “right-sized”, “down-sized,” “out-sourced,” and not shown loyalty by any one corporation. If you treat these new graduates as if they are “baby-boomers” – expected to comply, obey, get in line, wait their turn, etc. they will look elsewhere for employment.

When looking to hire new graduates, don’t just view them as inexperienced and an as an opportunity for cheap labor, consider the entire package, and what they are searching for. The key to hiring invested, engaged, and loyal new graduates is to consider their life goals, tie into their desire to feel they are contributing to something greater, and show that you value them.

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