If you are a member of Generation X and looking to hire new talent, don't let the term "millennial" scare you. I'm not just saying that because I am a member of this generation myself, but because we can benefit your company in ways that others cannot. We thrive on being creative, talking with others, and working towards something. It's been noted that we all want recognition in return for our work (whether or not we deserve it) but that's largely due to the fact that we like to find a cause and see a change.
One in three employees is a millennial, and that number will only increase. By 2020 millennials will make up 40% of the workforce. Companies will need to start adapting and harnessing the talent of these employees before they end up working for someone else.
The knowledge, insight and capacity of the millennial generation is a necessary driving force behind innovation. Every company can benefit from talent that comes in with bright ideas and a fresh perspective, but is your culture built to keep them around after they are hired? These four principles can help you retain the right millennials to help your company grow beyond its current state.
Computers, cell phones and tablets aren't just support devices for millennials: they are the place where work gets done. Technology is an aid to employees working in a more timely, efficient manner. As the tech world adapts to new uses, this generation is finding ways to be more creative within their workplace.
Millennials are constantly connected via their smart phones and social media, but technology is also used to make things easier as well as more personal. Before Facebook, did you have over 100 people wish you a happy birthday? It may seem silly to look at virtual communication as a tool for personal connections, but essentially it is a way for traditional sorts of communications to happen instantly rather than the sending of a birthday card in the mail.
Encourage a Balanced Life.
This starts with supporting health and wellness goals in concrete ways, such as partnering with a local gym to offer employees a lunch break fitness class or providing healthy snacks. Then it goes further to allow flexible working habits based on projects or personal goals. When employees know you support them beyond just the success of their output in the office, they are more receptive to working harder when the company needs something additional from them.
Focus on Culture.
Most millennials work best in a specific type of culture. This culture is one where communicating with coworkers or management is effortless, creativity is expected, walls are broken down (literally – cubicles are dead) and employees fulfill a purpose. That may sound like a lot of "wants" but think about how successful a business would be if all employees felt like they were working towards a common, important goal, with the ability to communicate freely and also have a life outside of work. Business would be booming and everyone would be happy.
Giving employees room to make their own decisions on work-life balance, allowing them to offer ideas instantly as they come to mind, and letting them share in the successes of their coworkers will create a positive culture that is hard to find. Millennials may eventually start to be less interested but can quickly get back into the groove of things when their purpose is clear. By making these employees feel essential to the company, you are giving them a chance to be inventive.
Start by asking current employees what they like about the workplace, systems, and communication within the company. What can be changed or adapted to work more efficiently? If there is something that can be done from the start when on-boarding a new employee, focus on making those changes right away. Then plan on making smaller changes to get greater support from the team. Showing your employees that their feedback is useful and that it results in change will encourage them to be more open.
To kick off finding the best-fit employees for your company, why not reach out? Let's get the conversation started on using personality within your company.