Millennials represent almost half of the workforce across the world. This isn’t exactly breaking news for business leaders or HR departments. The generation that has been the CTO at home for the last decade has a lot of expectations for its future workplace. Not only do they challenge the way we work, but they also create new demands in the workplace. In this article, we’ll go through some of the steps that you can take to make your workplace millennial-proof.
But who are Millennials?
Millennials, also known as Gen Y and the tech-savvy generation, were born between 1980 and the mid-1990s or early 2000s. So many young adults would define themselves as millennials. The majority of millennials communicate digitally more than in person. This is claimed by a new report by LivePerson who found out that 65% interact with each other digitally more than they do in the real world.
Note that not all millennials have the same expectations. Every person is different and has another vision.
Break the myth: it’s not only about perks
No, you won’t necessarily need to invest in ping pong tables, slot machines, a fitness space, and host happy hours if you want to attract millennials. They need much more than just free stuff and free food. These perks may draw them in, but won’t make them stay. A good work environment beats out free stuff.
Millennials find happiness, challenge, and satisfaction more important in their work. So what are the 3 things they want most in their career and how can you make sure to offer them this (hint: it’s not more money)?
1. Development and growth
This generation is hungry to learn new skills. Millennials are proud to describe themselves as life-long learners. They need a clear structure, a development plan and training opportunities.
A generation with an insatiable hunger for learning new things. They don’t learn from PowerPoint presentations. This generation prefers to watch online tutorials, for example on YouTube or an online company academy. They want movement, sound and interaction.
Offer millennials training to support them in attaining their full potential. This can be a range of perks, from a paid certificate training to giving them access to conferences and networking events.
2. Collaboration & Connectivity
Through the rise of mobile technology, millennials no longer see the office as the only place where work can be done. They’re more connected than ever, and with the right infrastructure they can be just as ‘plugged in’ whether it’s at home or in the office.
The way young generations of workers use technology is what sets them apart from other generations. This is a generation that grew up with cell phones, instant Messenger and video chat. They’re used to instant access to whatever information they want. They have always been connected to the outside world no matter where they are. And expect that to be the norm within their workplace. Employers who recognise the advantages of emerging mobile social and networking technologies will thrive.
To appeal to communication preferences, you might want to focus on digital connectivity. These are 3 tools you can propose to work more efficiently and faster:
Video conferencing facilitates communication in your workplace because you’re not bound to a location. You can easily participate in internal meetings and the conversation flow is very smooth. The ability for managers and teams to be in customer meetings or solve issues without leaving their offices can help drive business productivity.
Video conferencing seems to boosts the intensity of the discussion, there is less chit-chat and participants are more likely to stay alert and focused on what is discussed. As a result of these improved communications, participants can make decisions faster which boosts productivity and provides a serious competitive edge for your company.
Other advantages of video conferencing?
- Facilitate remote working
- Large organisations with multiple sites can reduce their travel time and cost immensely.
- Better work-life balance because it makes you more effective
How do your employees store and access the information they need to do their job correctly? From company policies to agendas and important work documents. Millennials need to instantly be connected and engaged to collaborate fast. It’s now easy to send messages, send calendar invites and share documents with your entire team thanks to G Suite.
Meeting scheduling and meeting room reservation software
If your company is still using paper or old school software programs to reserve meeting rooms, you should consider implementing a company-wide shared calendar and a meeting room reservation software solution that integrates directly with that calendar.
Google Calendar, for example, has artificial intelligence embedded in their meeting room reservation module. The room will automatically be suggested based on the number of participants, your previous behaviour and your current location.
3. Embrace flexibility by keeping your digital workplace evolving
Nobody wants to be chained to a desk, neither do millennials. They want to work in a digital workplace. Millennials need to feel at home at their workplace to feel good. Their motivation and productivity are heavily influenced by the technology provided in that digital workplace. Millennials and other generations want to work from home because it saves time and energy thanks to reduced transportation. By offering this flexibility, they will feel more valued.
The generation has already started to impact traditional office dynamics. We now see a growth of flex desks, quiet zones and lounge areas.
As an employer you should fully take advantage of all the technological resources at your disposal, which includes actively engaging in video meetings, creating a cool workplace where comfort and productivity are key rather than over-organised desks.
It’s time to act and make your workplace ready for the generation who will take over.
Employers will have to be more flexible than ever. It’s essential to focus on collaboration tools, communication tools and technology. With an understanding of what millennials care about, how they work, and the technology resources available, any org business can leverage its workplace and culture to attract and retain talent. A company that designs its workplace with their people in mind will have higher millennial retention and will be able to attract new talent much easier in this time of war on talent.
Would you like to learn more about transforming your business to attract and retain millennials? Register for one of our Digital Workplace webinars!