As the generation makes the shift towards a new generation of recruits, there’ll be an influx of millennials making their way into your office. Also referred to as ‘’Generation Y’’, ‘’The Boomerang Generation’’ and ‘’The Peter Pan Generation’’, each person will undoubtedly be placing their boutique stationary and reusable coffee cups at desks across the nation.
With this new demographic comes a set of new challenges for businesses to overcome. Keeping a millennial in employment can prove to be difficult. Office culture needs to be modernised to keep these younger recruits happy, as by 2025, 75% of the workforce is set to be made up of millennials. Follow this handy guide and future-proof your office to ensure millennial retention — which could be the implementation of transformational leadership.
Products of the digital age
Millennials are notoriously tech-savvy and curious, which means they’re always looking for new ways to do things. Your business can benefit from this if you understand that this generation may operate in a different way to some of your existing practices. So, get the most out of their willingness to learn by having them voice their opinions and thoughts. Whether it is through a weekly catch up meeting or a staff forum, you should give your staff an opportunity to share what works best for them; potential talking points could be how to tackle efficiency, and your younger staff members could introduce a software which streamlines a task that you may have spent hours on before. It’s a win, win!
The digital age has changed learning forever, and by hiring millennials you are essentially working with some of the first products of the sweeping wave in technological advances. Don’t be too affronted if a millennial points out that your company’s website isn’t optimised for mobile, or that your recruitment process is too long and boring. A little curiosity can go a long way, and your strategy could benefit from these new perspectives, helping you to stay ahead of the curve.
Breaking from convention equals retention
While this issue isn’t felt exclusively by millennials, the work-life balance of employees is an important issue that bosses must address to maintain their appeal to the demographic who want more flexibility. If your company ethos is a rigid 9 to 5 day where conversations with colleagues are few and far between, then this simply isn’t the right atmosphere for modern productivity. To promote high retention rates, you should consider whether or not your working day is working in terms of employee’s needs. Essentially, millennials are deemed to be keen for progression, but they want an alternative route to the traditional long hours and monotony.
Some ways to improve your company’s stance on the work–life balance include introducing a flexi–time policy. This means employees are free to work across established core hours, allowing flexibility around the working day. Being conscious of the fact that the 9 to 5 routine is no longer the only way to get work done is important, and it can enhance employee wellbeing in the long run by allowing a working day that suits them best. These Gen-Y’ers are looking for a personalised approach in the workplace, which accounts for a lifestyle which is not dominated by work. Often, companies are praised for seeing the bigger picture, with initiatives such as corporate volunteering days becoming more common in businesses looking to boost their appeal to millennials. Try adding an exercise class into your employee’s lunch break, and encourage this as a getaway from work, stimulating productivity for the rest of the day… No idea is too ‘out there’ anymore it seems.
Be seen, be heard
A recent survey by Deloitte found that while Generation Y are pro–business, they are also committed to making a difference and being accountable at work, a value which companies should reflect. The recent emphasis on transparency has set a precedent for companies, with GDPR triggering a change in the tide for the value of accountability at work. A further 76% of millennials in the poll said that businesses can have an impact on the world, so your office should enable this by welcoming millennial innovators. Most businesses won’t be closed off to the fact that millennials want more than just to work, and they are paving the way in many strategies by creating social impacts.
Millennials have been dismissed in the past, for laziness and a lack of motivation, but they are pushing businesses into unchartered territories by defying boundaries set by those before them, using their work to make a real-life difference rather than simply sticking to how things have always been done. More brands than ever before are broadening their narratives in advertorial and marketing formats, as the new era of professionals revise their priorities and look to brand activism for inspiration.
It really is more than about simply turning up on time where millennials are concerned. To implement this into your business and ensure that your millennials are raring to get started each morning, encourage idea sharing sessions and research around cultural/topical issues, perhaps by dedicating a weekly slot for proposing ideas and coming up with ways to enhance transparency and honesty in your campaigns or business plan.
Keeping a millennial in the workplace is possible, it just requires a few adjustments to account for how much business has advanced in the past decade, and how employees are now looking for more than just a job.