Members of the Generation Y or “millennials” as they’re popularly called are very different from older generations. Over half of them have joined the workforce and they generally tend to be tech-savvy, affordable employees. The older generations – comprising of members of the generation x and some baby boomers are mostly managers in today’s workplaces and constantly complain about the different work habits of today’s entry and mid-level employees. But different doesn’t necessarily mean bad. In defense of millennials, they bring a vibrance and energy to the workplace and are valuable, mostly because they are very tech-oriented but also because they have an unorthodox, but effective way of doing things. This implies that if you want to take full advantage of these traits millennials bring to today’s offices, you need to have a work environment that suits them and their values. Here are some tips to make your office more accommodating to today’s twenty-somethings.
- Keep it casual: Formalities like business suits make millennials feel alienated in the workplace. Young professionals want a workplace where they can be more casual – MTV’s “No Collar Workers” survey proves this. Try to loosen up on strict dress codes in the office. If you want to keep your younger workers from going overboard with their dressing, in a bid to look “laidback”, enforce a business casual dress code in the office. This would allow for less formal dressing, but still keep the more adventurous in check.
- Provide the latest tech: According to a recent survey, more than half of millennial workers say that the office technology is an important component when choosing an employer. If you want young employees in your workforce, make the latest computers and other tech gear available to your staff.
- Put more emphasis on results: Instead of rules and protocol. Another important factor for millennials is flexibility in the workplace. A recruiting firm found that a sizable number of millennials were willing to slash salaries by 14 percent, for the privilege of a more flexible workplace. Being able to work wherever they feel more comfortable or productive is something millennials love. You can achieve this by setting specific deadlines and milestones for your employees and letting them decide where they prefer to do it – whether it’s at 7 am or by 10 o’clock at night.
- Better work relationships: Millennials aren’t too crazy about the traditional boss-subordinate relationships of most workplaces. If they had their way, there would be more collaborative relationships with both peers in the same level as them and leaders with higher office rankings. A team based approach is preferred to hierarchical structures because it encourages more dialogue and nurtures growth and development – especially for the lower-level employees. This also means that their superiors get to listen to their ideas and respond to their suggestions because it shows respect for them as coworkers.
- A good reward system: Contrary to popular belief, millennials don’t live for drinks and parties alone. When an organization invests in the professional development of its staff, they get more engaged and productive at work. Millennials want to feel a sense of purpose at work. If your firm doesn’t have regular appraisals, conduct more meetings to give feedback and discuss the areas of growth, because it will help them know just where they stand. Show appreciation for properly done work with relevant perks and recognition.
Following these tips will give your workplace the twist it needs to attract the millennial crowd.