As a business owner working today, you owe it to yourself to cater to the millennial generation whose needs may be a little different from the workers of yesteryear. Most millennials are the freshest and brightest minds in the employee marketplace, many of whom are fresh out of university and college, and keen to make a mark on the world.
To attract them, you need to take steps to tailor your business to take advantage of the skills and perspectives millennials possess that could propel your business into the future. Of course, if you’re between the ages of 23 and 38 (the newly defined age bracket for the millennial generation), then you probably have an understanding of what is needed anyway, but if not, we have some pointers for you later in this article.
You see, here’s the thing about millennials; they are a job-hopping generation. If they aren’t satisfied with their workplaces, they are less inclined to stick around, as opposed to the baby boomer and Generation X generations who tended to stay in one job role for the duration of their careers. According to the previously linked article, 60% of millennials say they are open to other job opportunities beyond their current roles, and only 29% are fully engaged with the positions they have been given. It’s clear then that business owners need to take this into consideration when looking to employ new workers. To have any chance of reaching the millennial generation, they need to have something on offer that will attract them, and they need to work hard at maintaining their loyalty. Again, this will be old news to you if you are part of the millennial generation. Heck, you might have had more jobs this last five years than many older people have had in a lifetime!
So, for the benefit of your business, and for the people you might employ, here are some tips that you should find useful.
Millennials want a greater work-life integration
This doesn’t mean millennials want to work less. They don’t necessarily want to spend more hours in bed or in front of the television. As is stated in this article, a greater work-life integration is about having more flexibility in when and how they work, without being compromised by the usual 9 to 5 schedules that the workplace has become synonymous with.
How can this be achieved?
You could follow the example of Google and Microsoft, who allow their employees to work flexitime. Rather than sticking to a rigid time schedule, their employees still work the requisite number of hours, but they choose when they work them, instead of being told when to clock on and off in the day.
You could also give your employees the opportunity to work from home instead of getting them to come into the office. Thanks to modern technologies (another big turn on for millennials), you can easily communicate and collaborate with your employees through cloud technologies, such as through this project management and scheduling software. This negates the need for time-wasting meetings, and gives both you and your employees the opportunity to work anywhere, be that at home, on the bus, or anywhere in between.
With both flexitime and remote working, not only are you improving the lives of your employees, but you are improving your business as well. A greater work-life balance leads to higher morale and improved productivity, so it’s worth committing to research to make both of these working methods possible for your workforce.
Millennials want to have fun at work
Hey, this is the dream for many of us, right? But sadly, not all jobs are synonymous with the word ‘fun.’ However, even when specific job roles are monotonous, your workplace doesn’t have to be dullsville. According to employee surveys, 65% of millennial employees expressed the desire to work in a fun working environment. This doesn’t necessarily mean going to work should be all fun and games, but as an employer, there are a number of things you could do.
For starters, you could improve your employees’ break room. By adding fun things for them to do during their downtime, such as foosball and ping pong tables, they can have a laugh with their colleagues, let off steam, and then return to work feeling refreshed and ready to work.
Other ways to make your workplace fun could include having friendly competitions throughout the day, or you might let your employees play their own music. You might celebrate birthdays and other anniversaries, and you could encourage friendly banter provided it didn’t get in the way of productivity. Check out these workplace fun ideas and implement as many as you can in your workplace. So, even if you aren’t able to let your employees work remotely, they might still have greater incentive to suffer the daily commute and come into work each day.
Millennials want to make a difference to the world
Here are some more statistics for you. According to the Talent Economy, 75% of millennials would favour purpose over their pay packet. 76% of millennials would consider a company’s social responsibility when looking for where to work. And 64% of millennials wouldn’t accept a job if the company in question failed to show their socially responsible credentials. In short, millennials have a desire to make an impact in the world, and if your business failed to measure up, then you might have difficulty attracting new hires from the millennial marketplace.
Of course, it is in your best interest to be socially responsible anyway. Your reputation would quickly diminish if your customers and clients discovered you behaving irresponsibly in any way, be that to your employees or to the environment. You might receive negative media attention too, and as has been shown time and time again with Nestle, you might also be the subject of a boycott! So, for the sake of your profits and the millennial workforce, you need to adapt your business accordingly.
As we described in a recent article, you might want to focus on being environmentally responsible. So, you might put recycling policies in place, source your supplies from sustainable companies, and as we suggested already, give your employees the opportunity to work from home, as this would cut down on the pollution caused by carbon emissions. You might also give your employees a platform for their ideas on how to care for the environment, so with their contribution, draw up green policies within your business.
You might also want to be more charitable within your business. If there are any charities close to your employee’s hearts, you might want to donate a share of your profits. Other than donating money, you might also donate your time. As examples, your business might spend one afternoon a week working in support of a local charity, perhaps by using the talents of your employees to benefit others. An I.T. firm might support local unemployment groups, for example, by teaching them computer skills for resumé purposes. You might also raise funds for local charities, either through a public event or simply by having a charity box on display within your business premises.
And think how else your business could make a difference, be that to your local community or the world at large. Could you sponsor local community or sports groups? Could your business premises be opened up for specific charitable or community purposes? Could you take up the cause of another, perhaps something related to social injustice? It’s a lot to think about we know, especially when you have the important tasks of your business to consider as well, but think about the benefits. Not only will you attract the best hires if your business is seen as making a difference, but you will receive greater public and media recognition too, and that can only be good for your profit margin!
Millennials are keen to learn
This is something that often comes up in workplace surveys amongst millennials. They want to learn! They don’t want to be seen as mindless worker drones with no career progression. They don’t want to be in a job where they don’t feel challenged. They want training and development opportunities that will help them to be both better employees and better people in general. As the employer then, you need to learn from published surveys by giving your employees what they want.
Of course, you might be resistant to this point. If you invest money in learning and training opportunities for your employees, they might become too good for your company, and could consequently leave you. It’s a toughie, but by following the other points in this article, you can reduce the chances of this happening in your business. And provided you gave your employees the opportunity to progress within your company; they might be less inclined to ditch you and head off elsewhere.
You need to work hard to attract the best hires to your business, so think about what you can do to adapt your business for the millennial workforce. You can guarantee that your competitors will be trying to do the same, so to ensure you don’t fall behind, consider our suggestions, and commit to further research.
Thanks for reading.