How To Motivate A ‘Millennial’ In Your Trade Business

What is a ‘Millennial’ I hear you saying… Well, ‘Millennials’ are the generation born between 1982 and sometime in the early 2000’s. It is a generation of six-second Vine videos, Facebook News Feeds and Instagram selfies…

Old enough to remember what life was like before high-speed Internet, but young enough to lead the digital revolution. Millennials are most likely to have student debt, shortened attention spans requiring instant gratification, and smartphone obsession.

They are also expert multi-taskers – In the 10 seconds it takes Generation X to read this, a Millennial would have already sent four texts, paid a student loan bill and ordered Coffee (using an app on their smartphone, of course).

‘Millennials’ have been called the “Me Me Me Generation,” – lazy, entitled, self-obsessed narcissists. But on the other hand, they are open-minded, liberal, self-expressive, upbeat, and very tech savvy and well connected. There are both positives and negatives that come from this behavior when employing a ‘Millennial’ in your trade business.

The Millennial generation that grew up on Google, MTV, and the Spice Girls and now makes up a third of the workforce.

By 2020 ‘Millennials’ will account for one out of every two workers, and small business must rethink how they engage and motivate this ‘want it now’ workforce. Here are a few ideas on how.

  1. Frequent, specific feedback.

Near real-time feedback on their individual progress, goals, strengths and weaknesses. Why? Because frequent, specific feedback motivates and inspires people to perform at a higher level.

  1. Direction through constant guidance.

They want to see that there’s a next step and then another next step as they develop their careers. Give them this direction through constant guidance and feedback. Honour their interests and skills, and encourage them to make valuable contributions.

  1. Digital first. 

Everything is online, so make your performance metrics be as accessible this way too. Get rid of paper processes in favor of a digital app that employees and managers can access via their browser or iPhone.

  1. Link to concrete goals. 

Eliminate vague goals in favor of bite-size, actionable wins that employees can achieve regularly. Create these in combination with your company goals and values to ensure maximum impact on the business

  1. Mix short and long term objectives. 

Not everything is achievable on the same timeframe. Keep Millenial employees motivated by setting goals by the week, month, quarter or year. Small wins add up to big victories, both for the employee and the company

  1. Motivate with incentives. 

Incentives aren’t for every small business… But, you could dangle a carrot, such as rewards or monetary bonuses, and closely tie to performance goals to inspire performance. Incorporate rewards that employees can strive for, either individually or through some friendly competition with your other staff members.

What’s next?

  1. Join our Kick-Ass Tradies Facebook Group, for access to trade business specific conversations, tips and resources, plus a like-minded community of tradies.
  2. Book a 15-minute Game Plan Call with Andy, owner of Dr. DRiP plumbing and co-founder of Lifestyle Tradie, to clarify your priorities and get clear action steps.