Let’s talk about the generation that everyone seems to love to hate. From killing every industry to wanting to be rewarded for doing the bare minimum, a lot of people seem to take issue with millennials and their work ethic. We aren’t lazy; we have different motivations. Previous generations were able to go to college for the same amount I spent in books while in college. They were able to buy homes, get great jobs, and SAVE money for the future. My parent’s generation and ones before them were motivated to give my age a better way of life. In some ways they did, we had the most exciting childhood experience of any generation because we are the ones who bridged the gap with hard work and technology. Seeing as how my generation grew up differently, it would make sense that our motivations are different. We want to be able to buy a house and save for the future and do all the adult and responsible things. However, we also want to forge our way and be our boss (because we could do ANYTHING). We want to make our planet a better place and eat GOOD food that is GOOD FOR YOU. We would rather have apartments and can move and go to new places whenever we want. Millennials are unique, and if you think we are the snowflakes, wait until the generation below us enters the workforce, and they realize having Instagram does not go on a resume. If Millenials are overtaking your office and company, here are a few things you can offer them (and the rest of your team) to help set them and your company up for success.
1.) Attract Millenials by Promoting Company Values and Contributions to your Community
Does your company donate to the local food bank every quarter? Do you allow employees to take days to volunteer? We love a good cause, and we love knowing that we are having an impact on the world around us. If your company gives back, promote that. In January, I was looking to transition out of leasing and into a position that allowed me to have weekends off and the ability to write. I had gotten two job offers that I was considering. One was with a local chiropractic office as a case manager, where I would work 10-hour shifts four days a week. Long weekends meant I could take a day to write, so it seemed pretty appealing.
The second was with The Leaders Institute. I would come on as an Executive Assistant, and as part of my responsibilities, I would be able to write blogs and handle our social media. I ended up choosing TLI because I liked that they promoted having an impact on our community. The idea of being a part of a company that hosted charity team building events and lived it out in their personal lives meant a lot to me.
The company is not just about helping others or bettering the community but about pushing ourselves to learn, grow, and give back as well. My co-workers and my boss have hearts as big as Texas, and that is what drew me to them. Do not take this as you need to set up a formal charity event right away, although it is a good thing to do. Make your employees aware of the core values your company holds. I worked for a company a few years ago, and we did not do a ton of charity work, but there was a guy who worked there, and he ended up diagnosed with cancer. He only had so much sick leave saved up, and he needed extensive treatment. They allowed us to donate our accrued PTO and sick time to him so that he could get treatment without losing pay. He ended up passing while still in treatment but talk about a way for a company to come together. It is less about the act and more about the heart behind your company.
2.) Facilitate an Environment where Technology and Creativity are Valued
Our teachers and parents also pushed us to be creative and to “ think outside the box.” Just because we are not eight anymore does not mean that we no longer technology or not being creative. “We grew up with technology and creativity. When I first came on with The Leaders Institute, there were two of us millennials in the office. We always joked with Doug about how we wanted an office like Google, where they had nap pods, foosball, and fresh ways to manage projects.
We almost got the foosball table, but when Doug was thinking about helping us in the longterm, he ended up deciding on getting us separate office space. We have crazy cool art on the wall, a table in the middle where we can work together and collaborate, a few desks if we want to work alone, and whiteboards that we can use to jot down ideas quickly. We also turned half of our office into a studio so that we can do all of our video recordings in here and not interrupt the other office. Our creative productivity has gone through the roof since we have been over here. We are making videos, recording, adding to the website, and creating more content than we were previously.
- My parents were huge advocates for keeping work at work and home at home. I was in middle school before I fully understood what my parents did because they didn’t talk about it. The world moves at a much faster pace, and as I said, our motivation comes from different things.
3.) Retain Millennial Employees by Offering an Integrated Work Life
- Doug has also been very open trying new technology. When our web designer came on board, she saw that we were in different offices and walking back and forth to get or relay a few pieces of information. She suggested we try a messaging platform where we can share documents and send messages. Some of the seasoned adults in our office prefer to walk because they like the face to face conversations, but they still use it when we send office-wide memos. Technology is advancing whether you want it to or not. It is best to let your team use it and to be creative. You might be surprised by what they come up with if you give them the opportunity and the tools to do it.
We like having our work and home life integrated. Flexible hours and the ability to work from home, fitness centers at the office, and onsite childcare, to name a few. You may not be able to offer all of these things, but these are things to consider. Is your employee demographic mostly young parents? Then consider the benefits of adding childcare to your office. Your employees would be able to focus on projects knowing their children are in good hands. Maybe your company promotes a healthy lifestyle. Would it be possible to allow your employees to go to the gym the first or last hour of the day? Employees perform better when they are valued. Almost every person in our office has a dog, and Doug let us bring our dogs to work one day. We were able to take more breaks walking outside, met others in our office building, and felt at ease staying a little later because our dogs were and could go out when needed. It was a lot of fun, and I am working on planning our next one. These three simple steps will not only help your Millennial employees but your seasoned employees as well. Creating an atmosphere that your employees will thrive in is essential. Take a look around and see what you can do to motivate those on your team better.