There are a lot of factors that go into creating the ideal workplace for the new workforce generation, and these factors often transcend what we might often consider to be the hallmarks of a perfect work environment (i.e. company culture, available resources, brand recognition, or even compensation and benefits).
These factors go beyond what might typically come to mind when we think about creating the ideal workplace, and they include things like technology, flexibility, and diversity.
Here’s how you can cultivate a millennial-friendly workplace:
Remember that millennials are digital natives. It takes more than just an attractive salary package to secure top talent. Updating to state of the art technology could make the difference between being able to hire an incredibly qualified new programmer to your team or a subpar candidate who is somewhat familiar with Microsoft Excel.
Providing your team with modern tools and resources is pivotal to their production of quality work. Advanced software and cloud resources facilitate jobs and the ease with which we can access data, which is unsurprisingly positively correlated to job satisfaction (Forbes 2019).
New technology is definitely an investment, but incorporating the most up-to-date features can ensure your team is able to work not only more efficiently, but also more creatively. It’s important to note, however, that shifting to the most up-to-date features may require some additional training for the existing team. Think of it as an opportunity to help your team develop new skills while keeping your company on top in an increasingly competitive market.
This can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but the baseline remains the same: flexibility matters. As more and more millennials seek to find the perfect work-life balance, and others are even continuing their attainment of higher education while working, it is necessary for employers to be cognizant of their workers’ needs.
Often times, flexibility in their schedules is a non-negotiable for millenials. Being able to work hours that are not necessarily within the confines of a traditional 9 to 5 framework can ensure them the possibility of achieving the work-life balance they seek.
If at all possible, consider being empathetic not only to their availability, but also to their specific preferences within it. Discuss their schedule with an open mind, and maybe even consider the possibility of allowing them to complete some of their work off-site whenever possible. A change of scenery can be a good thing, and it shows you trust them to work from home.
Developing trusting employer-employee relationship matters, and will help them feel comfortable coming to you with any feedback that can improve their experience, and consequently, the work they produce for your company. Flexible hours, flexible roles, and the ability to work from various locations will create an understanding and dynamic environment that your employee’s are proud to be a part of.
According to a study conducted in 2016, nearly half of the millennial workforce reported that they actively consider factors of diversity and inclusion when assessing their options for potential employers.
Diversity allows for a broader spectrum of ideas and opinions, fueling a potential increase in creativity while combating cultural homogeneity. Moreover, increasing diversity is an important component of the secret weapon that builds companies, and diversifying your team can also diversify your client base, bringing more business to your company.
In an increasingly competitive job market, millenials are unsurprisingly seeking sustainable options for employment. They hope to make an investment into their future by working for your company, not jump around various entry level positions at different businesses. Working towards securing a future for themselves is less daunting of a task when assured some semblance of security in their job.
Tailoring their onboarding experience to not only attract but also retain your employees is crucial to demonstrating your level of commitment to them. A report published by Udemy’s research branch last year indicated that stability is a key desire for millenials upon employment, along with flexibility and opportunities for growth.
5. Upward mobility within the company
No one craves stagnation. When it comes to a desire for self-realization and the achievement of one’s full potential, the workplace serves as a microcosm of life itself, and an important one at that. In other words, having the opportunity to grow, learn, and develop new skills is crucial to a feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction not only in the workplace, but also in life.
In fact, studies indicate that lack of advancement within a company and lack of opportunities for development are among the top reasons for near term exits from a business. Offering learning and development opportunities, space to grow, and a trajectory for promotion or heightened responsibility is a must for attracting and retaining top millennial talent.
Most of us are familiar with the feeling of working hard, accomplishing something that you are genuinely proud of, and receiving no acknowledgment for it. This feeling of pride in response to our achievements is usually at least partially overshadowed by a lack of recognition.
Expressing to your employees that their work is valued and appreciated will help them feel more fulfilled, and in turn, more satisfied with their employment at your company. This doesn’t mean handing out gold stars for participation and easy A’s for effort. It just means attributing the right amount of recognition for a job well done, and reinforcing a sense of purpose through the cultivation of feelings of accomplishment.
7. Benefits that match their values
An attractive salary package can help you get one foot in the door when it comes to sparking interest from a millennial candidate, but benefits that are in line with the candidate’s values are what can ultimately seal the deal.
Consider this: More millennials have a college degree than any other generation of young adults in the past. With tuition only on the rise, Harvard’s Institute of Politics reports that the majority of college pursuant millennials have student loan debt, and most individuals (regardless of party affiliation) consider the issue of student debt to be a major problem, while only 4% do not consider it to be a problem.
With that in mind, offering tuition loan repayment assistance for their student debt is one potentially feasible avenue to consider when crafting a benefits package to offer your ideal candidate. Health and well-being support like offering a free or subsidized gym membership or handing out health wearables like a fitbit to employees is another valuable benefit to consider.
Millennials value work-life integration and fun spaces versus conventional. Designating a fun room in your workplace with a ping-pong table, games and snacks is another valuable perk. We encourage you to consider what your applicant pool values in terms of benefits, and to the best of your ability, while keeping your company’s best interest in mind, cater to these values, rather than spending capital on benefits your employees won’t value nearly as much to begin.
For more ideas on how to attract the right person for the job in a tight talent market or for a better understanding on the advantages of hiring millennials for c-level positions, visit our blog so that Barbachano International can help you stay ahead of the game and effectively transition the new workforce generation into your company.
By Fernando Ortiz-Barbachano
President and CEO of Barbachano International (BIP),
The Human Capital Solutions leader in Mexico, Latin America, and the USA, offering high-impact executive search, executive coaching, and outplacement.
At Barbachano International, we understand the importance of recruiting and the return on investment that top talent can deliver for you. With 27 years in the industry, we know firsthand how imperative it is for an organization to have the right people to achieve its business objectives. We help you avoid painful hiring mistakes and reduce turnover by identifying top performers for your team that result in long-term success.