2016 is well and truly underway, and now (in theory) Millennials are the dominant population in the work place. This is a generation grown in never-seen-before conditions. It has surfed waves of technological advancement and seen each one transform education, communication, culture and social interaction, and its likes, dislikes and approach to life and work might just change the workplace forever.
Born in the 80s and 90s, Millennials are now taking up more workstations, fridge space and meeting room chairs than either Baby Boomers or Generation X. But this isn’t really cause for much concern. While we might need new ways to attract and keep hold of the best person for the job, new candidates will bring new competencies and new strengths.
Employers have expressed a number of worries about this new working population, but these are just a matter of perspective: to your everyday Millennial, a range of professional experiences equals a wider skill set, while to an employer it signals a lack of loyalty.
Millennials are looking for mentors, not managers. They value relationships where a true exchange of information is welcomed. Motivation lives in a flexible and relaxed working atmosphere which adds something to the day. And open, honest communication creates an environment where Millennials feel supported and valued.
It might seem like a new approach to business but this shift in the generational balance doesn’t require anything more than the same old great people management. It’s still all about understanding your team and adapting how you help them deliver their best work.
Here are some things to think about as you go on attracting and retaining the right people for your business.
Your company culture is more important than ever. Millennial candidates are looking for an environment which will enhance the working day and make stellar productivity as easy as possible. They want to become a valued member of the team: someone who works hard for an organisation which celebrates its social responsibility and makes a positive impact on the communities around it.
You can help keep Millennials engaged with a flexible (even informal) working environment and culture which encourages communication, sharing and fresh thinking.
Training and development
Millennials see chances to build on their skills as an investment, so you should too. Making time for them to do this at your organisation is an effective way to make sure they don’t look for these chances somewhere else.
Valuable training and development opportunities can range from on-the-job training to soft skills (perhaps how to work with team members effectively or setting career goals), and from external training courses to mentoring schemes. Giving millennials the opportunity to share their own technological skills and work collaboratively with older workers is also a great opportunity to strengthen relationships while improving in-house skills.
Peace, love and understanding
Celebrate the generational diversity of your workforce — don’t fear it. Frequent get-togethers and team socials foster a sense of community and team building events create an atmosphere of mutual support.
Bringing generations together breaks down barriers and strengthens leadership and collaboration skills. This should improve working relationships, help people work more productively together and give the younger generation a firm foundation for building leadership skills.
Millennials aren’t as interested in the traditional business hierarchies, so they expect a level playing field when it comes to sharing opinions and ideas. A personal, honest and approachable communication style throughout your organisation gives each team member a clear understanding of their role, and shows that they’re valued as individuals.
Regular updates and feedback keeps Millennials engaged. Opportunities to check in and share ideas are a good way to help every Millennial feel valued. This way you can show that you recognise their strengths and are invested in helping them overcome any weaknesses.
A healthy work/life balance is valuable to Millennials. While they’re passionate about what they do between clocking in and clocking out, they’re passionate about their extracurricular interests too.
Great time management from team leaders is important. Frequently asking your people to stick around after hours to get projects finished can count against you and get them running for the door. Instead, scheduling and allocating work efficiently gives Millennials a good overview of what they need to achieve and when they need to achieve it by.
Regular, in-depth 360 feedback reviews keep you connected with your people, and each one of them on track. Done well, they’re a valuable part of a culture of open communication and honesty, and they’re the perfect chance for every leader to show that its team is valued. Get in touch to talk about how we can help you carry out your very own 360 feedback review — tailored perfectly to your business.