It’s official. Millennial workers are reshaping the workforce. And, regardless if you approve of the changes they’re making to the workplace or not, you’re going to have to get on board with at least some of these changes if you want to remain competitive on the talent front.
Millennial workers were born between 1981 and 1996. While many in this generation look back on the days of CDs and VHS fondly, many are still on the forefront of the digital revolution.
As millennial workers move into leadership roles, this generation is now in a position to institute real change in the way we do business. However, despite their overwhelming presence in the workforce, businesses still struggle to recruit and keep millennial workers. The resulting spike in employee turnover rates is costing organizations $30.5 billion every year.
With this in mind, it’s time to evolve with the times if you want to boost work quality, employee satisfaction and worker retention.
Here are four tips to make your organization more appealing to millennial workers.
1. Provide Flexible Work Options
When millennial workers first hit the professional scene, we saw a surge in prioritizing fun perks. And while ping pong and mojito Mondays are all well and good, they aren’t going to snag this demographic. Growing up during the Great Recession has left its mark on millennial workers. Consequently, many of their job priorities are fairly practical. Rather than fun and games, get down to business by offering employees flexible work options. You can offer optional work-from-home days and flexible on-site hours. This allows employees to work when they are most productive. Furthermore, flexible hours help parents maintain a healthy work-life balance.
2. Offer Advancement Opportunities
The Great Recession taught many millennial workers that professional stability is exceptionally important. Consequently, they seek opportunities to demonstrate value. Learning opportunities represent a way to expand on that value and provide a path for future advancement. Ensure that your workplace encourages continued learning and growth. You may consider incentivizing taking certain courses, reading certain books, mentoring, job shadowing and eLearning. Make sure that there are clear leadership career paths, so employees can clearly see a future with the company. If you invest in your employees’ future, they’ll invest that future with you.
3. Encourage Collaboration
While many believe that millennial workers are slaves to their screens, the group actually craves collaborative environments and the opportunity to work with a team. Take a good look at your common areas, workspace arrangements and break spaces. Are they conducive to teamwork? If they aren’t, look at ways you can play with your office setup to encourage collaboration. Also, try to go a step beyond departmental team collaboration. Give employees the chance to practice cross-functional teamwork with other departments.
4. Develop a Positive Culture and Mission
Everybody wants to feel like their contributions matter in the bigger picture. Of course, employees work for a paycheck. However, millennial workers also want their work to mean something. Consequently, it pays to shape your company culture with a strong, positive mission. Help drive this mission and productivity by showing employees the impact their work has on the world. Also, acknowledge hard work and achievement to encourage employees to develop positive emotional connections with their job tasks. Also, lighten up on the “work family” notion. Millennial workers list work-life balance as their top priority during job searches. So, while it’s great to provide opportunities for employees to interact outside of the office, don’t push this agenda too hard. Give millennial employees time to recharge with their real families when they’re off the clock.