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The workforce structure is always changing, but now we are experiencing a significant shift in employees in regard to age and mindset. Over the past 20 years, the U.S. work force consisted mostly of 30 and 40 something’s who were mostly married and often had at least two children.
Today it is growing into who is known as the millennial generation. Over the next 10 years, an expected 75% of the workforce will be from this new generation. This change has both its advantages and challenges for employers. By facing challenges head on, a company can ensure they have a productive and innovative workforce behind the face of their company. Let’s look at what kind of environment the millennial generation works best in.
Give Them Structure
The millennial generation, unlike past generations, has been raised within an environment that provided every possible opportunity. This began with the groundwork by parents who focused on academic excellence. Though they have been expected to do the work, they’ve also had a strong parental team behind them ensuring that schedules were met. Additionally, they have been allowed to chase their passions with more support than the previous workforce had. This type of support has led to an advanced workforce that can move mountains, provided that they get a push in the right direction.
In order to keep the interest of the millennial generation, companies need to create a structure based employee model. This includes outlining out the company’s agenda. You’ll also want to develop clear company goals, provide deadline based assignments and ensure that they clearly understand expectations and how they can meet those expectations. Examples of this include time lines, progress-based activities and clear diagrams.
An aspect of the millennial generation that past generations don’t always understand is that they must see their impact. This requires that progress and success is calculated. Aside from letting them know when they’re doing a great job, progress reports show them that their work is important and valued.
Give Them Leadership and Coaching
The millennial generation is unique in that they won’t show up day after day, for the same boring work. They need to value what they do, and feel like they really are making a difference. This can be provided by simply giving them the whole picture. Let millennial employees know the purpose behind the company, how the company achieves their purpose, what has worked and what hasn’t in the past. This will give them a goal from which they will find a challenge.
Coaching is essential to the millennial generation, in fact they expect it. As an employer, you’ll need to ensure that they have a steady supply of business coaching through one on one interactions, business gatherings or seminars. Business coaching further expresses company needs and provides the tools for success.
Recognize Their Tech Savviness and Networking Abilities
Most of the millennial generation has practically been on a computer since day one. The end result is that they have developed an aptitude with computers that is quite impressive. For the most part, they already have a huge networking pool prior to graduation. The best trait is that they are fearless when expanding that networking pool. They will gladly use every possible avenue; email, social media, text and any other online place that allows them to make new connections.
Understand that they will use their networking abilities for their company, provided that the company can give them what they need. They can just as easily use these abilities to climb into their future position with another company that understands what they want. For this reason, it is important to remain aware of the personal needs of this new upcoming workforce.
Understand the Converging of Work and Outside Life
The millennial generation has changed the face of the workforce. The days of keeping work and personal life separate are gone. Millennials will see their work as part of who they are, as much as they will identify with the car they drive, their fashion sense and their choice in friends. As such, the company they choose to work for must say something about who they are and provide a business structure that matches their own personal desires.
Perks are everything to millennials, so providing unique company perks will bring about their loyalty. In order to give the millennial generation what they want, companies need to think outside of the box and consider what employees really want.
Take for example, Google and what they offer their employees. Instead of a simple cafeteria, they have coffee kiosks splattered throughout the Googleplex. Though they certainly didn’t stop at coffee. They went on to provide Google bicycles, ensuring that employees can get their coffee in style, or just take a ride during their break. This is the type of outside, yet modern, thinking that you need to implement in order to hang on to this new generation.
Keeping the Millennial Generation Happy within a Company
A millennial generation workforce will need structure, business coaching and progress/success evaluations. They need to know they are valued and that they make a positive impact. Companies need to provide ever-changing challenges as attention spans are short within this generation. Ensure that new experiences are provided at every turn. Finally, this is the most unique workforce to date. They will incorporate a company completely into their lifestyle. For this reason, provide a company that is unique in business structure, operational purpose and one of a kind company perks.