Updating Your Work Culture to Adapt to Millennials

As Millennials become the dominant demographic in the workplace, employers must update their work culture to attract talented and productive employees.

Millennials have vastly different expectations than Gen-Xers or Baby Boomers. In the workplace, they’re looking for independence, empowerment, effective communication, goals and timelines, and collaboration. They’re also looking for benefits packages that show their employers are invested in their career growth and overall wellbeing.

Retaining Millennial employees is difficult for businesses that ignore updates to the traditional workplace. As Millennials steadily seek careers that suit their lifestyles, employers must alter their approach to create happy, committed employees.

What Do Millennials Want?

So, what do Millennials want from their employers? One great resource is the Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017, which considers how political and cultural upheaval is impacting Millennials’ perceptions of the workplace and what they want to gain from it. According to the survey, Millennials are seeking stability through flexible, valuable opportunities. They are anxious about their futures ─ partially due to the instant gratification mentality they’ve developed due to society’s technological developments but also because of the lack of certainty in our nation’s current strength and direction. They want positive change and personal prospects that allow them to be heard and make a difference.

By and large, Millennials aren’t seeking lifetime careers like some of their predecessors, but they’re not looking to job hop either. They want a job offer that will help them grow personally and professionally. As an employer, you should be offering positions with benefits that fit this younger generation’s needs. By creating a positive and trusting work environment and investing in your employees, you will see higher levels of commitment and positive performance.

The following three tips will help attract Millennial employees.

1) Allow and Encourage a Flexible Working Environment

This is perhaps the most uncomfortable adjustment for Generation X and Baby Boomer employers. Today’s workforce is in the middle of an important transition that will lead to flexible work schedules and remote offices. Millennials want to work hard with others but simultaneously drive success on their own. Once they’re onboard with their role, and their duties have been clearly defined, they want to be left alone and trusted to get the job done. As an employer, offer a healthy balance of autonomy and management.

Flexibility also means creating a happy work-life balance. This means additional vacation time and deviation from the typical 9-5 workday might be more important to Millennials than their salaries. Incentivize your employees by trusting they’ll get their work done instead of micromanaging the process, and let go of standard in-office expectations such as rigid, timed lunch breaks and workday start and end times.

2) Add Value to Their Role

Millennials are more likely to accept a position and stay with a company if they feel their employer is investing in them personally. Let them know that they’re valued, their roles are important, and you want to help them succeed. Mentor your Millennials, and ensure proper leadership is in place for them to look up to. Instilling structure and clear, identifiable roles will give your employees confidence they can grow within your company. Establish bonus structures and bi-yearly performance reviews to show your employees you’re invested in them and that opportunities for growth exist in your organization.

Additionally, allowing employees (especially younger employees) to create partnerships with local or national charities and collaborate with their community will add value to their role at your company. Millennials want to feel like what they’re doing makes a difference their personal growth, your company, and the world in general. One idea is to create a company-wide initiative to donate four hours each month toward a unified charitable activity. Poll your employees to see if they’d be interested, but make sure everyone knows that any such tasks will be on a volunteer basis only.

3) Invest in Their Health

Millennials are aware of the state of healthcare in America and are seeking stability. They are looking for inclusive, affordable healthcare for themselves and their future or current families, and they want to search for and choose their own primary care providers. By offering flexible and affordable healthcare options, you’re investing in your employees’ futures and earning their trust and loyalty.

Millennials see healthcare as a fundamental human right. In contrast to previous generations who viewed health as the absence of disease, Millennials continually invest in their health and wellness and believe it can always improve. They want to take care of their bodies physically, emotionally, and mentally — which means supporting each of these facets of health and wellness in your employer-sponsored healthcare plan is essential. Physical and emotional therapy, naturopathy, and holistic care are growing forms of medicine and should also be included in their package.

Satisfied employees are more productive and effective. Employers who choose to make meaningful changes to their work culture and benefits packages will be more successful at recruiting and retaining Millennials in the workplace.

Landrum, S. The Work Benefits That Are Making Millennials Happy. (2017, January 23). Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/sarahlandrum/2017/01/23/the-work-benefits-that-are-making-millennials-happy/#28149c6a6ad3

Overfelt, M. What Millennials Want Most of a New Job. (2017, April 21). CNBC. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/21/the-no-1-millennial-need-from-a-new-job-and-new-boss.html