The term “millennial” covers a wide range of people – 1982-2004 is a 20-year span! The top of the group is 36 and the bottom of the group is 22, just entering the workforce. With all these Millennials walking around offices, ordering lunches, using their smartphones, and innovating left and right, how can you not just attract them, but retain them too?
Here are our top five tips for attracting and keeping millennials excited, productive, and – most importantly – in your office.
#1 Company Culture
Company culture isn’t just my favorite buzzword, it is a serious business concept. Entrepreneur.com defines company culture as “the personality of an organization from the employee perspective, and includes the company’s mission, expectations and work atmosphere.”
It’s focused on making the work environment, which we know can be a toxic mess, into an inspired and innovative destination where people genuinely enjoy working.
Rob Markey, in a blog for The Harvard Business Review points out, “Loyal, passionate employees bring a company as much benefit as loyal, passionate customers. They stay longer, work harder, work more creatively, and find ways to go the extra mile. They bring you more great employees. And that spreads even more happiness — happiness for employees, for customers, and for shareholders.” Company culture is all about creating a place employee’s want to be and want to stay.
#2 Good Coffee
The average office employee drinks 20 cups of coffee a week (1,040 cups per year), and coffee consumption overwhelmingly occurs during work hours.
Millennials are conscientious consumers. They want to feel good about where they spend money, often choosing to support companies that reflect their values, and products and services that add value to their lives.
Take that consumer consciousness, mix it with changing palettes, add a dash of care for how ingredients are sourced, and you understand why a little good coffee can go a long way in an office. And the 22% jump over the last eight years in gourmet coffee consumption amongst millennials (source) doesn’t hurt, either.
#3 Turn Up the Tech
If there is anything that irks millennials more than a company that is SUPER behind when it comes to tech, please, let me know because I have yet to find it.
If you want to retain millennials, but you’re a little behind in the tech realm, engage them in helping you transform. Millennials love to fix things and innovate, and this is a way that can help everyone be more efficient in the long run.
But remember, millennials are also tired of being the de facto tech person for an office, so try doing it in a way that is incorporated into their job and strategic, and it will translate better.
#4 Flex Hours & Flex Spaces
The modern employee craves the ability to innovate, fail, try new things, and bring passion and value to the workplace. Flexibility is the ability to respond to changing circumstances and allow employees the freedom to work in the ways that work best for them.
This also transitions the focus from just putting in hours to getting actual work done. This stops employees from watching the clock tick down and turns into tangible results. Flexibility has been shown to drastically increase productivity, quality of work, and retention. (source)
#5 Kill Top-Down Management
Disclaimer: Top-down and bottom-up management are not mutually exclusive, and it’s important to have a mix of the two in your management style.
But taken absolutes, the traditional top-down method is a huge motivation and creativity killer in general for this generation. Millennials are hyper-focused on individuality and if there is no room for them to provide input and expertise on the things they are working on they will quickly feel like a cog adding no value. It’s important to set the vision, and clear direction from the top, and then let your employees have a voice in the execution.
All of these tips are important when it comes to attracting and retaining millennials in your workplace, but seriously, take it from us. Never skimp on the coffee budget.