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Are Millennials your hope for corporate innovation?

The internet has made it even more likely that Millennials could be the key to exciting innovations for many employers

The chances are that you have already come into contact with a vast number of Millennials; after all their generation does span 20 years. Reaching formative years at the height of the digital revolution means that Millennials have a strong grasp of what can make a difference both on and offline.

Here are some ways in which you can foster and encourage talent in a young workforce.

Make it easy to share

If you put too many obstacles in the way of anyone, chances are they will be reluctant to run the gauntlet. Run analysis on your current processes and ask some important questions. Could it be simpler? Could there be an easier way? How many steps are there for a Millennial to get an idea approved? A quicker route to key decision makers means that you instil confidence in your employees and their voices.

Welcome a creative outlet

Millennials love to brainstorm, especially when they can bounce ideas off colleagues. Be sure to allow a culture where they can be heard and listened to, rather than deferred elsewhere. Growing up in an environment of rapid change, they’ve been used to a whole spectrum of thoughts and processes. Even the most abstract-sounding ideas can come from a place of passion and insight so it’s important not to eschew suggestions on the spot.

Respect privacy

Though an outspoken generation for the most part, there are quieter Millennials who require a level of anonymity when approaching management, and often will fear ridicule. Allow a means for communication whereby employees are able to submit ideas and comments to management without the worry of being judged or rejected.

Challenge them

Social media has been instrumental in making competitions or challenges something that Millennials love to get involved in; the more creative the better. For example, an ‘idea of the month’ or ‘problem solving process of the quarter’ will motivate them to use initiative and bring out their natural aptitude for creative thinking. As an added bonus it boosts a sense of belonging and morale, having a knock-on effect on the rest of your workforce.

Recognise their input

Millennials respond well to active encouragement and this extends to acknowledgement of their efforts and ideas. While it doesn’t need to be a big display of appreciation, a mention at a company meeting will go a long way to building up the confidence that will see a motivated Millennial consistently bringing something innovative to the table.

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