HR experts and managers often find it challenging to understand the younger generation in the workforce. This makes it hard for them to then know ways to motivate junior members of their teams. This article explains more, read on.
There is a certain stereotype around Millennials. They are known as people who sort of shy away from climbing the corporate ladder. They are the most culturally diverse and educated of any generation before them. They dislike traditional hierarchies, bureaucracy and are notorious job-hoppers.
Traditional business leaders find themselves confused by this behaviour. At first, they may attribute it to lack of ambition, but that’s not necessarily the case. But leaders should not focus on what has traditionally worked in terms of motivation.
Companies and managers often don’t know how to interact with younger staff members and keep them engaged. The truth is that junior members are not demanding. If you want to motivate junior members of your team, all you have to do is to be humble and act in a friendly way. Still, there’s more to that.
But first, let’s set the scene
First of all, we need to explore and become familiar with the mindset of juniors. This involves understanding their habits, and their lifestyle in general. Only then can we proceed with finding the best ways for motivating them.
Who are they? What’s their age? What made them realise that they want to work in the tech industry?
They were born between 1980. and the early 2000’s. Millennials (the older ones) spent their childhood watching TV. Commercial PCs weren’t a thing until they became affordable for most working-class households. That was around the late ’90s.
The advent of computers in households changed everything. Millennials were obsessed with the possibilities and fun that PCs could provide.
A decade later, the next generation, Generation Z, started to grow up. What the PC meant in the life of Millennials, the mobile device (connected to Wi-Fi) means to Generation Z.
Today they are in their prime working age. These are generations of the business future. They are the ones leading the exponential growth of professional software engineering companies.
Many Millennials and Gen Zers dedicate their working lives to software engineering companies. Why is that so? The answer is simple: they see how the world progresses into an automatic system.
They do not have to work in fields anymore to get their food. In a couple of clicks, they will get their food delivered to their address.
They don’t have to wear themselves out of physical exhaustion. Yes, their job is exhausting, but in intellectual terms. Burnout is still a real thing, but the risk of injury is lower if they spend their workday at the desk. Robots will do most of the hard work instead of them.
In comparison to their predecessors’ lives, their life is not physically demanding. They invest more of their intellectual capacity, their brains being their main muscles.
Let’s see the ways to motivate junior members of your team.
Everything is a lot easier with effective communication. That is why it always finds its way at the top of all known productivity practices. If you have a new project coming, give yourself some time to explain their duties, step by step. Spending 10 minutes per person giving instructions is effective. Getting interrupted by questions you could have answered before – not so much.
Bear in mind that Millennials and Zoomers have good communication skills. They live in the era of short and precise talk.
One of the most common mistakes is over-communication. This research shows a growing number of emails and calls during the pandemic period. Workers had to manage more phone calls, meetings, and emails. It leads to a less effective workday.
What managers should consider doing is praising their efforts. The way to do so is to praise the junior in front of the team. With that public act of yours, they will gladly accept the reward.
In its most basic definition, decent means acceptable. A decent salary is one of the most significant factors in business. It means that your employee can live without thinking about paying for his basic needs. These include rent, bills, beverages, clothing, and occasional travel.
You have to be careful about how much you pay them. New generations are not afraid of quitting their job or even changing their career. They know that there is a high demand for jobs in the tech industry.
Regular bonuses also represent an important motivational factor. If you notice that someone’s work brings extra profit to your company, reward them. The reward would provide meaning and incentive for the work they are doing. With that small act of generosity, they will raise the ladder to a higher level.
Let’s see what benefits teamwork brings to your business.
Build a community. Success is more likely to be achieved with a group of people who enjoy working with each other.
Among many benefits of a healthy community, one jumps out: morale-boost. ‘It’s not my day,’ someone will say. ‘Nothing works for me.’ That’s when the other members of the team jump in. They want to knock the wind out of someone’s sails because their project depends on that unmotivated team member.
Share your knowledge with them
Not a long time ago, you were at the same point they are right now. A bachelor, a junior, a rookie. You name it. You did your best to graduate and start with your career. After decades of hard work, you have something that they are searching for right now. And that is – knowledge gained from others and from personal experience.
If you want ways to motivate junior members, try to be generous. Be humble. Share your knowledge with juniors. They are keen to listen to the topic that you have in your little finger.
Knowledge sharing works for both sides. While you talk, you remember your successful past, which boosts your self-confidence. And they listen and absorb your pieces of advice, which leads to better work performance.
Give them different tasks
Repetitive work harms motivation. If the task is monotonous, employees are more likely to lose inspiration after some time. You will notice it by seeing their lower engagement, which leads to ineffective work.
You can boost their engagement by giving them some easier tasks in other areas. This is all for the sake of their development and development of their new project. How come? Well, because it’s well known that juniors can bring some fresh ideas.
Where do you see them in the future?
This one is crucial. Explain the big picture of your company goals. They do care a lot about the purpose of the project they are working on.
It is also significant to speak to them about your plans for their future in your company. That talk can boost their desire to improve. At the same time, it improves the status of your company. With more skilful workers, your company is more valuable.
Provide them with participation in educational events
Educational growth is a must and the world is full of excellent lecturers. They are ready to share their knowledge with those eager for professional development.
One of the most morale-boost-driven things is live conferencing. It involves loads of people focused during lectures. Then they walk around during coffee breaks, converse and make new contacts. This is something that every employee enjoys and strives for.
Some platforms (e.g., Udemy, MasterClass, SkillShare) provide education. For example, hosting an educational event in a conference room works pretty well. You can have one of your managers hold it for a dozen people. With a decent TV/projector and a proper sound system, you will create an educational ambiance.
Comfortable working space
They spend one-third of their day in your office. Accommodate them. Make them feel at home.
Equip your office with the modern essentials. The size of your office corresponds with the size of equipment you want to put in. If your office is a small one, it’s not too much of a problem.
Smaller appliances that don’t take a lot of space are a good choice. For example, a water boiler could save their time if they want to make a cup of tea during cold winter days. Or if someone wants to switch their position, a couple of lazy bags in the office corner would help a lot.
It’s recommended to keep some potted plants around, as well. These plants are often small by size, but the size of their ability to fulfil the space is immeasurable.
You can even acclimate your employees to work from home by buying them small pieces of equipment. For example, a new chair or a new laptop could mean a lot to remote workers.
Organise team-building activities
These kinds of events have the power of creating bonds between employees.
Millennials and Zoomers (Gen Z) are about separating their private and work life. But they will never refuse some fun. If well-organised, team-building is fun for everyone.
Indoor activities are not time-demanding. As a matter of fact, they can be pretty low-cost, such as board games or dinner parties.
Also, there are outdoor activities. They are expensive and effective. It all depends on the desires of the group. Someone may like to go to paintball. Someone else is about spending the day next to the swimming pool or playing volleyball.
To recap on these effective ways to motivate junior members, don’t forget to share your knowledge with your junior members. They’ll value that. Communicate issues and praise success. Give them a decent salary.
If they are making some extra profit – share it. Give bonuses. Reward their efforts. Use your experience to build a community of people who like working with each other. Other ways to motivate junior members include equip your office. Accommodate them. Organise team-building events. It enhances collaboration.
About the Author
Carl Fisher is a PPC and CRO specialist, but writing was what led him into the world of digital marketing. Armed with a Bachelor’s degree in English language and literature and extensive writing experience, After his writing is done, Carl mostly spends his time creatively, working as a songwriter and sound engineer.