Friday, February 12, 2016

Keeping Millennials Engaged at Work

Consultant Tracy Benson has written a terrific post this week for Harvard Business Review.  She focuses on how to engage Millennials at work.  Benson argues that work-life balance is important to them, and flexible work policies can attract them to your firm.  However, keeping them engaged, and retaining them, takes much more than just flexibility about hours and location of work. Engaging them requires providing them a compelling sense of purpose, building an entrepreneurial environment, loosening the traditional career ladder, and providing technology that promotes collaboration.  These suggestions make good sense.  Beyond that, I also think we need to challenge them.  They need to be stretched intellectually.  At the same time, we need to provide them excellent learning and development opportunities.  In that way, they will have the tools to succeed at these stretch assignments.  What if they face adversity or fail?  Many may fear failure a great deal.  They have been hovered over for years, and their self-esteem has been boosted relentlessly. Thus, we have to be ready to address their anxieties as they take risks, face adversity, and perhaps stumble badly at times. We have to challenge them to pick themselves up, fix their mistakes, and climb back on the bike. 

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