Running Your Business

How Millennials Changed Office Culture

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Posted by August 16, 2017

Keeping up with office culture trends can be an intimidating process. It has changed over the past decade with millennials continuing to enter the workforce. With change comes foreign concepts and adjustments. Fortunately, you don’t have to use cool jargon or wear thrifty sunglasses to address these adaptations. Companies can make their workplace trendy for younger demographics without it feeling forced, unproductive or uncomfortable.

How Is Office Culture Changing?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered that even with millions of recent job openings, the majority of employers can’t find qualified candidates. Colleges and universities are not promoting courses and degrees desired by most companies. Reduced talent narrows employers’ options, but keeping talent is another concern. Job hopping has become the norm. One study shows that 86 percent of employees are already looking for work outside their current occupation. Women continue to seize leadership positions in corporations and freelance workers make up 34 percent of the workforce. Flexibility, entrepreneurial concepts, collaboration and technology drive millennials’ ideals.

Creating a More Welcome Atmosphere

We’ve addressed the changes. Now what? Collaboration is a priority for younger workers; to generate teamwork, ditch the concept of closed-off hierarchy. Simple approaches, like having rooms designed for group discussion and management, can help. Adjusting performance reviews can also help as 69 percent of millennials view their company’s review process as flawed. Instead of providing empty, infrequent feedback through a sheet of paper, management can undergo specialized review training or utilize technology to get their reviews out without it being dreaded or counterproductive.

Another idea is looking beyond productivity to create a less stressful environment. Productivity is important, but should not risk your employees’ health or well-being. Avoid turnover and a toxic office environment by providing ways for your employees to take a break from work overload. Offering free events such as workout classes or a BBQ at a park can refresh your workers. Even a lounge area with entertainment options provides a much-needed break for your workers. Overall, providing proper communication and outreach for younger workers develops a warm office culture that millennials are seeking.

Developing a Productive Environment

How can you get the wheels turning for young workers? One route is 6-hour workdays or allowing employees to work from home. A study in Sweden put 6-hour workdays to the test and saw errors decrease, workers’ health increase and productivity soar. Employees utilizing 6-hour workdays have to work a little harder and stay focused, enhancing efficiency. With all this hard work comes more personal time for workers to use sooner rather than later. Technology also allows employees to work from home; the perfect fit for flexibility and independence.

If these changes seem too drastic for your business, focus on fostering productivity in more approachable ways. Having a proactive mentor program can be beneficial for new and old employees. An online team forum or social news feed is another idea. Employees can use this space to discuss teamwork strategies for projects, easily generate ideas with a wide audience, make announcements and congratulate one another. Support knowledge-sharing by holding face-to-face brainstorm sessions and encourage executives to join. Not only will this implement creativity but it will provide encouragement from leadership.

Recruiting Millennials

Job fairs and paper applications may have scored your top talent in the past, but not anymore. With the advancement of the internet, gaining skilled, young workers is best done by utilizing technology. Mobile hiring and mobile job searching are booming with 83 percent of job seekers using smartphones in their search. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly hiring system, you should consider creating a mobile app or optimizing your website. Another popular source for hiring outreach is social media. Millennials aren’t hearing about your company from newspaper articles but through your Facebook and Twitter posts. Younger workers find companies who post on social media to be relevant and appealing.

According to the Bureau of Labor, by 2024, 34 percent of the total working population will be millennials. You don’t have to add a ping-pong table to your office to attract a younger demographic, unless you want to. Aligning office culture with their values and providing realistic, productive perks, as mentioned above, can gain you the talent you need, and keep it too.

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