Gallup recently released what it described as the "most robust and comprehensive study of the millennial generation" combining more that 30 separate studies involving more than 1 million respondents. In summary, the report found Millennials to be disengaged, aloof and completely incapable of prioritizing their own workload all while requiring constant pats on the back from management. Well, we could have told you that (and we have on many occasions) without doing any research at all.
The study, conducted by Brandon Rigoni and Bailey Nelson, found only 29% of millennials to be "engaged" at work with 60% being open to alternative employment.
The report, How Millennials Want to Work and Live, revealed that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, with the remaining 71% either not engaged or actively disengaged. What's more, six in 10 millennials say they're open to different job opportunities, and only 50% plan to be with their company one year from now.
This low engagement is troubling, as Gallup's latest meta-analysis shows that business units in the top quartile of employee engagement are 17% more productive, suffer 70% fewer safety incidents, experience 41% less absenteeism, have 10% better customer ratings and are 21% more profitable compared with business units in the bottom quartile.
Apparently millennials are also incapable of prioritizing tasks at work. Only 54% of millennials felt they knew how to prioritize work responsibilities versus 71% from other generations.
Regardless of generation, for example, employees need to know what's expected of them in the workplace. It's extremely stressful for any worker to lack an understanding or awareness of job responsibilities. In fact, Gallup finds that 72% of millennials who strongly agree that their manager helps them set performance goals are engaged.
Setting performance goals is one major necessity; of similar importance is knowing how to prioritize work responsibilities. Employees require job clarity so they have an understanding of what to do. They also require direction in establishing priorities -- knowing the order in which tasks should get done.
Prioritizing is a distinct need for millennial employees: Just 54% of millennials strongly agree that they know how to prioritize responsibilities at work, compared with 71% of those from older generations.
And finally, the report found that millennials were much more engaged at work if their bosses held their hand and provided constant feedback.
In reality, millennials want to be held accountable for their performance. In fact, nearly six in 10 millennials (56%) who report that their manager holds them accountable are engaged in their work.
To put this in context, if only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, then these findings suggest that managers can double the likelihood of engaging millennial employees by doing something many would consider simple and intuitive: holding them accountable. Millennials, like all employees, seek and desire accountability. When leaders and managers consistently hold employees accountable, they get the most out of employees' performance and make them happier and more likely to stay.
And just to add icing to the cake, Gallup points out that while millennials only represent 38% of the workforce today they should account for roughly 75% by 2025. We assume the 75% incorporates the many "cheerleading departments" that will have to be added to corporations around the country.