Building a Millennial Friendly Workplace

January 18, 2016

As baby boomers begin retiring, many workplaces are looking to fill the void. The Millennial 20- to 30-year-olds are the most likely candidates. However, the personality traits of the group may necessitate some changes in order to attract and keep new employees.

Establish Expectations

Millennials are notorious for loving their mobile gadgets, visiting social network sites habitually and exhibiting a reluctance to labor the long hours formerly worked by their older counterparts. Humane Pursuits advises that employers set workplace guidelines early on, which prevents later frustration and complaints from older workers. In addition, it’s important to consider that whatever leeway employers award to young employees will more than likely be expected by mature employees.

Contributions Matter

According to Human Resource consultants, unlike previous generations of workers, money is not necessarily a motivating factor for the youthful group currently entering the workforce. They have a passion for what they do and need to know that they are making a difference. Younger workers crave personal growth and satisfaction with accomplishments. Knowing how and why their position is essential to a company is important to this group of workers.

Coaching and Feedback

The younger generation is more concerned about whether their contributions are considered worthwhile. Instead of having annual evaluations, consider providing feedback and coaching tips on a regular basis, which provides a better baseline from which employees may make improvements. Employers might schedule routine meetings as a group or frequently invite informal conversations.

A Need for Growth

Millennials tend to become dissatisfied if a position is viewed as boring or holds little possibility of advancement. Incorporate opportunities for training in the form of podcasts, webinars or interesting in-services in an attempt to advance on-the-job learning and keep young employees engaged. Scholarships or other perks for encouraging ongoing educational opportunities are also appreciated.

Need for Transparency

Being raised with social media and easy access to a wealth of information combined with the commonality of openly expressing feelings and thoughts makes transparency a prized trait among Millennials. Closed-door meetings and corporate secrets are frowned upon. Companies that conduct business honestly are more likely to foster honest and trustworthy employees.

Greater Flexibility

Younger workers desire to have a balance between professional and personal life. Having a life away from work is important to this group. Consider making work hours flexible by allowing later starts or earlier end times. The ability to work from home is also appealing to Millennials.  With a love of and a familiarity with mobile devices, Millennials are great at using smartphones and tablets as work tools that offer the chance to work from anywhere. Mobile devices can also be utilized for collaborative efforts in the form of video or teleconferencing. Combined with Internet accessibility, the devices also enable workers to store vital information on the cloud where files remain safe and can be used by other members of the company.

Office Renovations 

Millennial Workplace Experts advise that when considering office space renovations, new interiors should easily accommodate all ages of employees. Employers can encourage creativity and productivity by including a blend of locations. Provide spaces where workers may seek seclusion to concentrate if desired. However, the majority of employees prefer continual collaboration by working in groups. Large, open spaces with adequate furnishings are preferred to cubicles.

Other designs that appeal to the younger generation include bright colors, comfortable furnishings for lounge areas, natural wood furnishings and wall décor. Employees might like to congregate around a coffee bar or in outdoor seating areas. This group also enjoys connecting with nature, so bringing the outdoors in is a plus factor. Consider including live plants, skylights and large viewing windows.