It’s obvious that millennials in the workplace are changing the game when it comes to the job market and upper management. Gone are the days of employees slaving away with little-to-no control in the workplace. Companies are now replacing the water fountain with kombucha on tap, hosting ping pong tournaments, and encouraging casual work wear. But other companies are struggling to keep their retention rates from plummeting. Beware of these company blunders if you want to hold on to those precious millennials of yours:
1. Silent work environment
There is a misconception about the workplace that urges employees not to get too close to their coworkers. This has completely been thrown out the window. Nowadays, millennials are basing their judgments on whether they can get along with their coworkers or not. I mean, they’re going to be spending 8 hours a day with these people, why wouldn’t they be a little picky? When hiring a new employee, it’s important to keep in mind whether this person will get along with the rest of the group. If not, there could be some serious conflict and unhappiness on both sides.
2. No fun allowed
We’re not saying you have to bulldoze half the office to make room for a bowling alley. Take note of the extra things you provide your employees. Do you offer an occasional breakfast? Are there group outings every other month? How was the Christmas party last year? Think of some ways (within budget) that you can up the ante and turn your blah office into an enjoyable environment.
Riding your employees all day long is a quick and easy way to send them running for the hills. With more people going back to school for their master’s degree than ever before, millennials don’t want to accept a position that requires a babysitter. They want to express their creativity and take initiative. Become a successful leader and give your employees a fishing pole rather than just the fish. Show them the ropes and allow for mistakes every once in a while. This fosters growth and it takes some weight off of your shoulders as the boss.
4. Little motivation
It’s understood that a job won’t be fun and interesting all the time. But if your employee is watching the clock all day as time slowly creeps by, chances are they’re not being challenged enough. Set up quarterly reviews with your employees and ask for honest feedback. Ask them what they like and dislike about their position and see where you can offer more responsibility. If your employees feel like they are deeply invested in the welfare of the business, they will have more confidence and incentive to try their hardest.
5. Unfair treatment
You’re going to get along with some people more than others. That’s just human nature. But when it starts effecting the workplace, you need to reevaluate your relationship with some of your employees. Susan is going to take notice when a Dave is receiving better assignments and more attention after that fishing trip the two of your took. Go around the office and get to know your employees on a deeper level. If you feel especially disconnected from one person, offer to take them to lunch and strengthen your bond. Besides, millennials in the workplace love having a “cool boss” that they can talk to about topics other than the report due on Thursday.
Although other generations classify millennials as “needy” and “high maintenance”, we think they are just setting the bar higher than in the past. There is no need for extravagant offices or pricey parties. As long as you treat your employees with respect and appreciation, they will feel valued and put forth more effort at work. If you encourage creativity and open communication, those twenty-somethings might even stick around until retirement!
Article by Caroline Thompson