5 Powerful Ways to Motivate Millennial Employees


In many ways, working with young people is exhilarating, with positive results virtually guaranteed, given their energy, ambition, unbridled creativity and ideas. With a smart phone in one hand and an iPod in another, you may assume they have the world at their fingertips, ready to make an impact.

Much of this holds true for millennials, who are innovative, bright and eager to prove themselves in their chosen profession—be it business, sales, finance, or medicine.

It’s easy to make sweeping generalizations about millennials, starting with their obsession and high degree of comfort and proficiency with technology and social media.

While many people born between 1982 and 2004 share a lot due to cross cultural changes, many of them get a lot of flak for simply being a little different than their older counterparts. Nowhere are those differences more apparent, than in the world of business.

Say Hello to Generation Y


1.     Train Them

Just because they are adept at multi-tasking at a level that many of us cannot even comprehend, don’t just assume that they will not need the kind of hands-on training that has been the norm in the past.  Remember, you’re dealing with a generation that can receive and process more information in one minute than their predecessors probably could in an entire day.

Give your employees an opportunity to learn and grow by offering training sessions and expanding their skills.

2.     Share Constructive Feedback

According to a research conducted by the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, 80% of millennials prefer timely feedback in person, as opposed to waiting for a quarterly performance review meeting.

3.     Foster Collaboration

In case you didn’t notice, young people are highly motivated by social integration and team work. This means removing a lot of red tape and creating an open environment that thrives on visibility and mutual respect.

4.     Upgrade Your Technology

You’re hiring people who can’t go a day without their cell phones. Take advantage of this tech-savvy generation and incorporate the latest gadgets and software into your organization. Give them social media freedom and pay attention to their ideas—even if you end up following your gut, more times than not, you will be amazed at their insightful ways to harness technology to increase bottom line profitability and market share.

5.     Offer Non-financial Incentives

One of the biggest differences between Generation X and Y is their source of motivation.

Unlike their grandparents, millennials do not seek employment solely for money. Their decision to work at a particular organization is influenced strongly by personal fulfillment. This means offering more than a raise, like personal benefits, security, future prospects, and personal and professional development.

Surveying your employees and targeted future employees (which can be a powerful recruiting tool, in itself) on the types of incentives that would motivate them is the best way to get the information you need.

Having perks such as one Friday off a month, invigorating work environments, casual dress codes on specific days, prime concert tickets for top performers, and remote and flexible work schedules are all incentives that speak directly to the new generation of workers.

Studies consistently show that being singled out for their performance via an award, or announcement often carries MORE weight than financial rewards. This is important to keep in mind, not only when deciding how to offer the best incentive for  your team, but also for cash strapped companies that want to offer rewards for performance but may be looking for ways other than cash to motivate their employees.

International Search Consultants is an executive recruitment firm, continually filling positions in an array of industries that include sales, healthcare, finance, real estate, and more.

For more information on executive recruitment strategies and employee management, call ISC at 888-866-7276 for a comprehensive consultation today!

 Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is President of International Search Consultants, a leader in Executive Search since 1999.

Ann can be reached directly at 888-866-7276 or via email at