Case Study: How Facebook Motivates Their Millennial Employees

Do you want to know how to recruit, retain and motivate employees, especially millennials? Well, employees are the asset of any organisation, including Facebook. We explain.

If an organisation satisfies its employees to the best extent then the best output is expected from them. On the flip side, if the rights of employees are not fulfilled then they lose your motivation and they do not give their best at their jobs.

This is why it is important to keep employees motivated. When it comes to millennial employees of Facebook, they are motivated in different ways. The company has actually adopted some unconventional management techniques so as to motivate millennial employees.

The way Facebook creates its millennial employees is an example for other organisations as they can also adopt the same strategies for the sake of improving their employees’ motivation.

Who is called a millennial employee?

Do you want to know who are called millennial employees? First of all, you should be aware of the term “millennial”. The term “millennial” actually means; a person reaching young adulthood in the early 21st century.

Now when it comes to millennial employees, it actually means those employees of the organisation who were born after 1980 and before 1996. Is that any boy between the age group of 24 and 39 is considered as a millennial employee.

Facebook’s techniques to motivate millennial employees

Lori Goler is Facebook’s vice president of people and recruiting. In a question and answer session, he was asked some questions about Innovation and human capital as spelled out in a recent article. In reply, he discussed some Facebook strategies regarding the motivation of millennial employees.

Here are the key strategies of Facebook in this regard.

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Conversational management style

In most of the organisations around, let it be a big company like Walmart or just a tech product’s review website like GearWisdom, you will have observed that managers are the authorised persons to give instructions and orders to their employees and ultimately, employees are supposed to obey the orders of their bosses.

However, this is not the case of Facebook. At Facebook, employees have the authorities to question manager’s decisions, give suggestions and provide their own solutions. Facebook does not like the management style in which all orders are given from one side but employees are given freedom to complete their tasks in their own way.

For examples, Engineers at Facebook are given freedom to make their work teams independently because they better know that where they will have the best output.

Such a management style in which not only managers are authorised to make all types of decisions but employees also have right to make decisions, give suggestions and provide solutions is called conversational management style.

Looking at the outcomes of this type of management style, many companies are changing their organisational culture and they are encouraging the participation of their employees in decision making and other such things.

If you expect the best performance from your employees then let your employees complete their tasks on their own and do not interfere in their decisions. Otherwise, if decisions will be yours then you will be responsible in case of failure of task and not your employees.

Switch roles on the basis of employees’ strengths

Being a human being, we all have some limitations of work. We cannot be the master in every field.

You might be the best in one thing but you might not be compatible for the other thing. Facebook recognises this natural limitation of human capabilities and hence, it encourages the shifting of employees’ roles on the basis of their strengths and performance.

Facebook dislikes the idea of force fitting employees but it gives opportunity to their employees to shift their roles on the basis of their interests. In this way, employees will keep on exploring and mastering new things within the organisation and this breeding of skills will make them a valuable asset for the company.

In Facebook’s privacy team, Paddy Underwood was hired as lawyer at the age of 28 years. After two years, he found his true interests and realised the need of shifting his role from practicing law to building products. Hence, he discussed with his manager and his role in the organisation was ultimately changed.

In the same way, all employees of Facebook have the right to change their role if they think that they can better serve the organisation in any other skill set.

How Facebook Motivates Their Millennial Employees

Image: Pexels

Encourage millennial employees taking initiatives

Unlike older generations, millennial employees like to take initiatives. They are crazy and they can’t wait for a seat at the table. They are passionate to bring innovations and to take initiatives. Hence, Facebook really appreciates this type of approach within the organisation. It is because of the reason that it keeps the employees charged and motivated.

When employees know that their initiatives are appreciated, they put their best efforts to earn appreciations in all the things they do. The very famous “rainbow filter” is the best proof of millennial employees taking initiatives. It is a theme in which people can display their Facebook profile photos so as to publicly celebrate the same sex marriage ruling by Supreme Court.

This theme was not created by planning but it was just the idea of two interns. In order to prove them and to get appreciation from the company, they found an opportunity and availed it. In fact, it was not a part of their job and even they were not assigned this task by their boss.

Such a type of passion can bring a lot of innovations in any organisations. If millennial employees are motivated to take initiatives then they can do a great job and they can add value to their organisations in many ways. All that is required is to give the freedom to the employees to prove their authentic self and to prove their multiple skills.

Grading of employees’ performance

There are some traditional organisations who grade the performance of their employees on individual level against a static list of criteria. However, it is not the best technique and many modern organisations dislike it.

When it comes to the grading performance of millennial employees at Facebook, they are actually graded on a curve. It means that they are not graded on an individual level but instead, their performance is compared with the performance of other employees in the organisation.

This approach brings a competition among employees and in order to maintain their standards of work, all of the employees put their best efforts. It keeps employees motivated and ultimately, they give the best output to the company.

Don Faul, former president of online operations at Facebook, told in Journal that in glowing performance review, if an employee has average rating then it means that he is working at the same level as his colleagues and he considers it as the worst thing in his career.

To avoid being rated as average, workers at Facebook stay on their toes and they keep on working hard.

Don’t you think that it is a great strategy to motivate employees! Now observe your own organisation and check out how you grade the performance of your employees. Do you grade their performance on the basis of static list of criteria or do you grade it on the basis of their competitive performance!

Off course, employees will meet their individual targets assigned to them by the organisation but real value is added to the company only when employees start paying extra skills and interests to their jobs.

Millennial employees want to shine within the organisation, they want to be prominent and this is why they really like the idea of getting their performance compared with their co-workers and graded accordingly.

“…the best way to build trust is in fact to be open and transparent and create an environment where other people feel comfortable as well.”

– Don Faul

It’s time to motivate your own millennial employees

Now when you have learned the most effective strategies of Facebook to motivate millennial employees, why not to think about adopting these strategies in your own organisation! Employees are the asset of your organisation.

Only those organisations succeed in long terms who keep their employees motivated. Hence, it is up to you whether you increase the potential of your employees or you make them lazy.

Millennial employees can give a lot more output than they are expected. Owners should use the best possible strategies to take out the best of their employees’ performance. Provide them such opportunities, give them such a free environment and you will see the great difference in your organisation’s productivity.

In Summary

Facebook is not a small company what is an organisation having over 12,000 employees and more than 65 offices all around the world. It is actually the family of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger.

Facebook focuses on the motivation and satisfaction of its millennial employees and in return, employees have brought a new kind of culture at work that is highly productive. If you adopt same kinds of motivation strategies for your organisation’s millennial employees then you can also increase the productivity within your organisation.

Your employees are your organisation’s strength and being the owner, it is your responsibility to keep your “strength”, your employees strong, to keep them motivated.


About the Author

Usman Akram is a Passionate Tech Blogger who loves researching and writing about the newest Gadgets and Technologies at Gearwisdom with the aim to get the users the best experience possible and help them make their lives better.

Team 6Q

Team 6Q