The Gallup Panel, Gallup’s probability-based research panel representing the entire US population, has found that between March and November 2020, 75% of millennials surveyed are highly engaged at work following Covid-19 disruption.

Written by Laura Riaz

As a millennial myself, this doesn’t come as a surprise, as the move to remote working made way for increased wellbeing, an improved work/life balance and a feeling of safety amongst the pandemic.

Things have changed dramatically since our parents’ generation started out in the world of work. No longer can we enjoy a ‘job for life’ — it’s not unusual for newly-graduated millennials to change role, or even career, several times before they settle. This is due partly to economic changes, increased workplace competition and technology paving the way for us to start our own business or freelance for more than one company at a time.

Prior to the pandemic (and this survey), Gallup reported that US millennials were the least engaged, the most likely to resign and generally unhappy with their workplace experience. Following the start of lockdown, a massive increase in engagement levels was seen in employees that already felt well-prepared to work from home, thanks to support from their managers.

According to Sangeeta Agrawal, Principal Researcher of Predictive Analytics at Gallup, an engaging employee experience can be evaluated with the ‘Five Variables of Millennial Engagement.’

The great news for internal communications leaders is that these five variables can be easily applied as part of a wider management strategy, not limited to only US employees.

1. Remote working

This variable alone is enough to make millennials happy and highly engaged, with remote working offering the flexibility they crave. It’s thought that 75% would like to continue working this way on a long-term basis. It is a consideration that some initial interest was down to a fear of coming into contact with others during a crisis, but it lives on nearly a year after the first lockdown.

2. A plan of action

The research found that 56% of remote millennial workers strongly agreed with the statement: ‘my employer has communicated a clear plan of action in response to the Coronavirus’, compared to 51% of non-remote workers. This shows that managers have been communicating more effectively with their remote teams than their on-site teams, which debunks criticism that remote working decreases collaboration.

3. Preparation

For a millennials’ needs to be met, they have to feel well-prepared to do their work. It is down to leaders and the IT department within an organisation to facilitate this. 48% of remote workers felt prepared, compared to 39% of non-remote workers. A standard office setting isn’t necessarily easier, but there is room for improvement when it comes to preparation, as the figures suggest.

4. Managers provide information

Gallup shared the importance of individualised information, saying: ‘more so than any other generation, millennials need to be in the loop about their day-to-day work, their part in the organization, how they contribute to the purpose, and where the company is headed.’ Millennials value regular communication and information from their managers to feel fully supported, as the advances in tech mean that we’re used to being constantly switched on.

5. Wellbeing

This variable is based on 65% of remote workers and 63% of non-remote workers, answering ‘my organisation cares about my overall wellbeing.’ The focus on wellbeing has accelerated at an unbelievable rate since the pandemic, but not just wellbeing in terms of avoiding exposure, overall wellbeing too. Millennials are engaged when their managers care about how they are and put in place steps to maintain and improve wellbeing.

If you’re looking for a place to discuss employee engagement and similar topics, you’ll benefit from joining our simplycommunity. Both millennials and non-millennials welcome! Find out how to join us here.

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