Millennial employees come to work with some different ideas and attitudes. In some circles, this had led to talk about how difficult it can be to deal with millennials.
At the end of the day, most millennials want things very similar to their peers in other demographics. Some of the adjustments employers are making work just as well for millennials as Gen Xers and baby boomers.
One area undergoing significant change is the onboarding process. These four methods are sure to help you successfully onboard millennial employees, as well as any employee of any age.
1. Get on Board with Pre-Boarding
When do you start onboarding your new employees? If you said “on their first day,” you’re onboarding too late in the process. Don’t worry though. It’s easy enough to catch up. All you need to do is implement pre-boarding.
What is pre-boarding? It consists of activities and outreach that happen after the job candidate has accepted your job offer, but before their first day. You’ve now entered into an employment agreement, although the paperwork isn’t signed and filed just yet.
Traditionally, HR managers and business owners would wait to start onboarding when the new hire arrived in the office. Why not get started sooner? Extend a warm welcome to the new employee and start preparing them for their first day. Millennial employees certainly welcome the chance to get started settling into their new roles right away, and your other employees will appreciate it too.
2. Begin Relationship Building
Pre-boarding is part of a larger shift in onboarding and employee development processes. The mindset is moving business owners and HR managers away from viewing their employees as “corporate assets” and seeing them as people.
You might associate this attitude with millennials, but most of your employees will express this sentiment.
Get to know your new employees. While work still forms a major part of their lives, most of your employees have interests and hobbies outside of work. Your millennial employees in particular may be eager to tell you about what they do in their spare time, but every employee appreciates an employer who takes an interest in them as a human being.
Communication is key to any onboarding process, and so it remains with the millennial generation. While their preferences about methods of communication may be different, they still want you to communicate clearly and often.
You should do this for any new hire, but be sure to set expectations for the role they’re stepping into when you onboard them. Knowing is half the battle. If you never tell your employees what you expect from them, they may not perform the way you want.
Be sure to provide consistent feedback as well. Performance reviews are also undergoing change, as many HR managers and employers find the traditional annual review ineffective. Ongoing feedback is much more helpful in the multigenerational workplace.
4. Establish a Sense of Purpose
Along with outlining some clear expectations, you should also indicate just how your new employee is contributing to the company. What is their purpose within your organization?
Millennial employees may give the loudest voice to the idea that they don’t want to be just another cog in the wheel, but your other employees may feel it too. They want to feel like their work means something to you and the organization. Their contributions should be valuable and appreciated. You can help all of your employees, new and old, millennial and otherwise, foster a sense of purpose by clearly outlining why they matter.
It’s easy to onboard millennials in an effective manner. In fact, these proven methods will help you with just about any employee you decide to hire. Take a look at your onboarding processes and see what you could be doing differently.