Creating the ideal work environment for Millennials.
The ideal work environment for Millennials
Each day, more and more millennials flood the workplace and set the standard for what a 21st-century company should be.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this particular age group is that they grew up in a time where the digital revolution was just starting to hit its stride.
In turn, they have come to expect a completely new set of standards from their employment experience.
Companies want them on board. They need them. But to attract and keep them they need to make some changes in the traditional workplace environment.
What worked for previous generations is not valid anymore.
7 strategies to create the ideal work environment for Millennials
What companies need to do to create the ideal work environment according to Millennial expectations:
1. Flexible work hours
This generation is considered to be less attached to material things than their predecessors (excluding technological devices, of course).
Millennials’ aim in life is not working all their lives in the same place to buy a house and pay rents. They highly value a job that can be combined with their personal lives and enriches their professional aspirations.
For Millenials, having time for themselves and to spend with their family and friends is really important.
So, a flexible work schedule that allows them to organise their time they way it suits them better is the key to attracting them.
2. Get rid of hierarchy
While eliminating managers the way Zappos did might be a bit extreme, leveling the playing field in the workplace can do a lot to make younger workers feel that they have a voice that is being heard.
Research has shown that the top-down management style is ineffective for the majority of millennials. Most have been raised working in teams through sports, or group projects.
Encouraging collaboration in the workplace is crucial, and blatant hierarchy here can pose a big roadblock.
Millennials have grown up in a world where the information is at their fingertips, so they are creative and critical thinkers.
If office politics doesn’t allow them to communicate their ideas, they have no real reason to stick around
3. Feedback is a two-way street
Gone are the days of the one-way linear communication. This top-down approach to communication is no longer effective.
Feedback is a two-way communication system, and Millennials require it more often than before. Anual supervisions are not enough anymore.
Millennials want at least quarterly reviews and regular feedback. They don’t only want to know how they are doing, but also want the capability of telling the manager how she or he is doing.
4. Collaboration over competition
Corporate culture has long defined itself as a competitive place, where people do everything they can to get ahead.
Gen Y employees don’t abide by this cutthroat style of employment.
The ideal work environment is the one that encourages collaboration over competition
Millennials have seen that money and status can’t buy happiness, and would rather work with their colleagues than against them.
In fact, 88 percent of millennials prefer a collaborative workplace over a competitive one.
Not only does collaboration make employees happier, but around half of millennials say workplace friendships motivate them, and 30 percent say these friendships make them more productive. Of
Encourage employees to team up and work together for the sake of their satisfaction and productivity. You’ll spark innovative ideas across the workplace generational divide.
5. Leaders as people
Millennials have a different way of working and thinking, but they highly respect the experience of older generations. They want to work for people who will inspire them to do a great job.
Millennials define leaders as personable, visionary, inspirational, and strategic thinkers. They don’t want the distant leaders of other times.
Millennials want a leader who they can talk to. They want to identify some characteristics in their leaders that make them feel great about working with them.
6. Innovative team-building
Growing up as the inaugural digital native generation, this age group is inspired by connectivity. From childhood, this generation as been taught to work on teams (football team, school…)
Its members tend to work best in groups, and team-building exercises should encourage this.
While there are many ways to approach team building with a millennial workforce, a lot of companies are using interactive virtual games to inspire creativity and collaboration.
7. Clear directions and access
Any direction open to interpretation will be understood in a completely different way of what you intended. This doesn’t have to be negative.
Innovation comes from this alternative interpretations
But if you want something don’t specifically, make sure you communicate clearly and give positive reinforcement.
Also, Part of what millennials want is to understand pathways to success. Give access, and give clear direction on how to pursue these opportunities.
Use stories and mentoring to communicate these directions instead of bulleted lists and context-less content.
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