Baby Boomers, Generation X-ers, and Millennials all face one challenge; the differing views, values, and outlooks characteristic of each generation and how to effectively communicate between them. However, while generations past enjoyed the ability to disconnect, the world inhabited by Millennials has broken down all the boundaries of conversation, learning and, perhaps most significantly, business. Eric Troy explains how the workplace is evolving to incorporate the ideas of a new generation, and what you can do to keep these valuable young minds close.
In 2014, thirty-six percent of the workforce consisted of millennial employees. By 2020, this will have risen to fifty percent, while by 2030, an anticipated seventy-five percent of the workplace will be comprised of individuals born between 1982 and 1996. It is an inevitable future. Just as the Traditionalist generation passed the reins to the Baby Boomers, and they to Generation X, so too must the Millennials learn from their predecessors, and vice-versa.
You want the best the Millennial generation has to offer, but in order to attract and retain those shining representatives you must first ask a question:
What do they want?
Millennials see the workplace as more than simply a means to an end. They want to be involved with something bigger than themselves. They want to feel of value to the organization and not like just another cog in the machine.
- They want to be involved with something bigger than themselves.
- They want to feel valuable.
- They want to progress.
How do you do that?
Show them what your organization does to engage its employees.
Company events where employees of all types congregate are a great way to show this upcoming generation that your company wants its employees to share more memories than their workday trials and tribulations.
These events show that there are open lines of communication between all employees, not just immediate co-workers. They help create a more cohesive and less daunting work environment which appeals to the team-oriented, collaborative views of Millennials.
Inform them of training and development opportunities
Millennials are always looking toward the future and how they will shape it. They have grown up in a time of immense technological advancement, and have had to constantly adapt their minds to keep up with each new form technology has taken. This makes Millennials keen and continuous learners that not only thirst for new information, but thrive on it.
Be sure to make apparent the opportunities for further training and advancement your company offers to its employees. Let them know that you are willing to invest in their skills and that employment in your company isn’t just a way to pay the bills. It’s a place where they can better themselves and strive toward future goals.
Allow them to be casual (within reason)
According to the Society for Human Resources Management 2015 Employee Benefits Survey, 62 percent of organizations allowed casual dress once a week, while 36 percent allowed it every day. Why? Physical comfort creates a more welcoming workplace, and Millennials prefer an environment where suits and ties are replaced by jeans and fashionable gym shoes.
However, disciplined mindsets are also important for a successful business, so be sure to implement boundaries. No flip-flops and pajama pants!
Mix It Up
Variety is the spice of life, and as Steelcase reports, it’s not just a Millennial thing. People of all generations crave informal, casual and authentic spaces at work. Inspiring, breakout spaces can benefit the holistic well being of workers while helping to promote employee engagement. Add the occasional day when employees can work from home, and you’ll be right up there with the most desirable businesses. Oh, and don’t forget… free food. A few $10 pizzas can go a long way!