Being the Best Place for Millennials to Work
I don’t know if there is a notion about what an ideal workplace looks like. Is there an ideal workplace? If there is, what is it like? Is it only about carrom boards and table tennis for leisure, or is it about focusing on an employee’s well-being in the office? At this point I am trying to contextualize this article focusing on millennials in the workplace. What do millennials want? What are their expectations from an organization? How do you be the best place for them to work. There is more to just recreational activities for them.
According to a recent study conducted by Gallup on engagement of millennials, it is estimated that only 29 percent are engaged while 55 percent are not engaged, and 16 percent are actively disengaged. Since millennials are going to occupy half the workforce by 2020, companies are actively trying to be the best place for them to work. However, they seldom understand what employees want from their company and how their workplace culture needs to be transformed in such a way that it increases their productivity. For most organizations, employee engagement is just a corporate jargon that they come across and nothing else.
A research conducted by Deloitte argues that most millennials across the world agree with the statement that businesses “have no ambition beyond wanting to make money.” most companies only worry about employees when their productivity is hampered or if the employees do not have the apt skills required for the job. Even if they do, it is not required for their role. Therefore, I think it is high time that leaders pay attention to the fact that employee engagement is more important than getting the work done with zero flexibility in their workplace.
Employees’ expectations change with time. When it comes to millennials, there is added pressure on the organization to retain top talent. Millennials, unlike baby boomers, very much want to be a part of the organization, not because of job security, but they want to learn, grow and be respected. They hunt for opportunities for professional and personal growth. Monetary benefits no longer interest them; however, they need a positive work culture. Failing which they will go someplace else. If you want to retain millennial employees, then here are a few ways through which you can transform your work culture:
If you want your employees to gain a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, then it is better to have some faith and motivate them to be independent. You might feel the urge to intervene to check their progress. But maybe you should let them do things their way. Constant intervention from your side may be perceived as a lack of trust you have on them. At the end of the day you should not break the trust unknowingly. Millennials prefer respect and autonomy. You must ensure that you pay attention to the ideas of your team and value them. Ignoring their opinions is not good leadership.
A work-life balance is very important in your organization. Millennials spend at least half their day in the office for which you need to make them feel happy and comfortable at their place. You ought to understand that employees have a life outside work and be compassionate. It is understandable that it is impossible to move away from office because their work is pretty much rooted in technology which is even on our phones. You cannot keep bugging your employees all the time to get the work done.
It is important to create a culture of continuous feedback because employees need to have clarity on what they are doing. On the other hand, you cannot always be the perfect manager. There are things you must learn from your employees. By having a continuous feedback culture, employees feel more comfortable sharing their feedback with managers. You must build a culture of trust and constant development.
Which is why your employees need to feel free to share their feedback with their managers. This is where a performance management software comes handy because the feedback process becomes a lot easier. Employees can share, receive, and request feedback from everyone.
Equality is a must in every organization. You must treat your employees with no bias. Your workplace culture needs to be more inclusive and diverse. This culture fosters employee engagement because there is diversity in everything, and multiple perspectives are flowing in from people irrespective of their age, sex and physical attributes. Such a broad and diverse culture helps in overcoming various challenges and improve the culture.
There are times when managers do not hesitate to give their criticism instantly when something goes wrong, but they do forget to appreciate when something goes well. This is a major cause of employee disengagement because employees don’t get appreciated for their good work which affects their morale and makes them less productive. Therefore, it is always best to recognize your employees whenever you deem it necessary.
Since we spoke about leveraging technology previously, investing in a good PMS software will help you promote a culture of employee recognition for their progress. Managers can publicly recognize and appreciate their employees for their contributions.
Millennials love learning as they constantly strive to improve themselves. As a manager you ought to encourage your employees to learn and hone their skills. This leads to their self-development and career growth.
Your organization needs to be transparent in the sense, your employees must feel free to discuss their achievements and problems. Establishing transparency helps managers to confront any situation in a professional manner. Your employees need to be updated constantly about the new changes that have been made in the company. This makes it easier for employees to work towards the goal and objectives of the company leading to better alignment of employee and company goals. Employees will then be able to know how their contributions are impacting the company.
Mental health issues are a serious problem today, and if employees face such issues then the organization must find ways to help them. Employees do not speak about their problems often, which is why you need to create a space for them to share their grievances. This could be in the form of counselling sessions and therapy. But otherwise it is always better to encourage them to talk about anything work-related that is bothering them. See how you can help as a manager. Because, mental health issues could have an impact on employee performance and business productivity.
If you want to be the best place for millennials to work, you could always follow the 8 strategies discussed in the article. Again, you need to analyze what works best for your employees. What kind of strategies do you have in mind? Leave your comments below.