Millennials are changing the game regarding the workplace environment, job market, and management style. Gone are the days of employees slaving away with little-to-no control in the workplace. So, the main question companies are trying to answer how to manage millennials?
Here I list some of the biggest turn-offs for the working millennials and suggest best practices to keep them from quitting.
How to Manage Millennials?
Companies are now replacing the water fountain with kombucha on tap, hosting ping pong tournaments, and encouraging casual workwear. All of this to compensate for the working millennials' biggest turn-offs, which is quite usual across MNCs.
But other companies are struggling to keep their retention rates from plummeting. Of course, this isn't happening without reason, and they're indeed offering the biggest company turn-offs for the working millennials with the superfluous work environment. So, you have to be aware of these company blunders and avoid them at all costs if you want to hold on to your precious millennials.
1) Select a Team That Gets Along
There is a misconception about the workplace that urges employees not to get too close to their coworkers. This has ultimately been thrown out of the window.
Nowadays, millennials are basing their judgments on whether they can get along with their coworkers or not. I mean, they're going to be spending 8 hours a day with these people. Why wouldn't they be a little picky?
When hiring a new employee, it's essential to keep in mind whether this person will get along with the rest of the group. If not, there could be some serious conflict and unhappiness on both sides.
This unhappiness, in turn, will lead to poor results for your company. And, you'll be mistaken to assume that your workforce lacks quality when the actual culprit is the work environment.
2) Promote Corporate Activities to Create an Enjoyable Workplace
We're not saying you have to bulldoze half the office to make room for a bowling alley. Take note of the extra things you provide your employees with.
Do you offer an occasional breakfast? Are there group outings every other month? How was the Christmas party last year? Think of some ways (within budget) that you can up the ante and turn your blah office into an enjoyable environment.
The traditional stance of considering the workplace to be some meditation bowl, where nothing but work is thought of and executed, has expired. Your employees spend so much of their lives at the workplace. How would they be efficient in their work if the only thing they're allowed to do is work?
So, recreation facilities workplaces need to be considered if you want to encourage millennials at work.
3) Avoid Micromanagement
Riding your employees all day long is a quick and easy way to send them running for the hills. Believe it or not, micromanagement is one of the biggest turn-offs for millennials at work.
With more people going back to school for their master's degree than ever before, millennials don't want to accept a position that requires a babysitter. They want to express their creativity and take the initiative.
So, How to Manage Millennials?
Become a successful leader and give your employees a fishing pole rather than just the fish. Show them the ropes and allow for mistakes every once in a while. This fosters growth, and it takes some weight off of your shoulders as the boss.
Taking control of every step your employees make is not such a good idea. Especially if the employees are eager to take their chances, be creative, and accept the blame if something goes wrong.
So, if you have such a self-reliant pool of employees, micromanagement can mess it all up.
It's understood that a job won't be fun and exciting all the time. But if your employee is watching the clock all day as time slowly creeps by, chances are they're not being challenged enough.
Set up quarterly reviews with your employees and ask for honest feedback. Ask them what they like and dislike about their position and see where you can offer more responsibility.
If your employees feel like they are deeply invested in the business's welfare, they will have more confidence and incentive to try their hardest.
Let them know that they are part of the bigger picture and their contribution, howsoever little, is vital for the business. Even if it isn't right, make your employees believe that the suggestions won't go in vain. Instead, their opinions are taken into consideration and are valuable for the betterment of the business.
Although it would be better if you genuinely listen to them, new ideas, after all, have strange ways of coming up.
5. Give Them a Fair Treatment
You're going to get along with some people more than others. That's just human nature. But when it starts affecting the workplace, you need to reevaluate your relationship with some of your employees.
Susan will notice when Dave is receiving better assignments and more attention after that fishing trip the two of you made.
Go around the office and get to know your employees on a deeper level. If you feel especially disconnected from one person, offer to take them to lunch and strengthen your bond.
Besides, millennials love having a "cool boss" that they can talk to about topics other than the report due on Thursday. Although different generations classify millennials as "needy" and "high maintenance", we think they are just setting the bar higher than in the past.
There is no need for extravagant offices or pricey parties. As long as you treat your employees with respect and appreciation, they will feel valued and put forth more effort at work.
If you encourage creativity and open communication, those twenty-somethings might even stick around until retirement! And if the talented ones do stick around with you despite the loftier opportunities they might have gotten, it is because they valued the environment you encouraged more than paychecks.
6. Allow Flexible Work Hours
If you're uncomfortable at the mere thought of flexible work hours, you have to change your stance.
For many millennials, flexible work hours are the make or break aspect of a job. They choose to either let go of the opportunity or grab on to it with both hands based on work hours' flexibility.
The traditional 9 to 5 has undoubtedly taken a back seat, and employees prefer companies who aren't all too strict with the reporting and punch-out timings. The worst thing you can do to your business's health is making the employees sit and wait for the clock to hit 5.
If they have completed their projects for the time being and have no pending assignments left, they should be allowed to leave. This little allowance goes a long way, and a sense of freedom reigns supreme among your employees.
7. Personal Day-Offs
Being flexible with the number of sick leaves to an employee might sound like opening a pandora's box, but it helps. Not doing it will certainly turn it to be one of the biggest turn-offs for the working millennials.
If one were to look at surveys, 64% of the millennial employees in the corporate sector say that they would quit the job if they find it hard to leave for personal reasons. After all, the millennials aren't known for mincing words or going miserly with their intentions. If they find it unfair, they'll most likely quit.
Today, the number of sick leaves allowed per year, which was perceived to be enough, is considered extremely harsh. For instance, companies that will enable 1 to 5 sick leaves per year wouldn't have had a problem in the past, but many would call it so harsh to be inhuman today.
Hence, flexibility is the key when it comes to off days and leaves. However, you can't get too lenient with it and allow your employees to abuse the system's flexibility.
8. Take Career Growth of Employees Seriously
Growth is something every employee looks forward to. A pay-raise or promotion is what they want as a reward for what they consider to be a useful contribution.
So, caring enough about the sick leaves and personal day-offs of your employees ain't enough. You ought to think about their career development as well. That's what the millennials believe anyways.
The last thing a millennial employee wants is a dead-end job, no matter how good the job profile and the salary is. Every employee wants to look ahead and their work to be recognized by the higher authorities even if it doesn't always result in a pay-raise or promotion.
So, holding reviews to gauge your employees' growth expectations and appreciating what they've achieved in the past months is suggested. This way, their contribution is honored, which acts as an incentive for them to work even harder.
Learn More About How to Manage Millennials and Prevent Your Talents to Quit
This new creative and impatient generation grew, adapting themselves to the current world innovations. They were molded on the comfort and technology of modern lives. Most of their parents didn't have the same opportunity and made an effort to offer what they couldn't have.
Therefore, millennials take their happiness seriously. They want to balance their personal and professional lives and enjoy their work.
After all that said, you need to do the basics, know what your employees expect from the company, and figure out whether you can give them. This way, you can avoid turning your work environment into a big no-no for millennials.
As a leader, you have to show your millennial employees that you're as much concerned about their career growth and life quality as you are about getting the most out of them. Hence, giving them challenges and opportunities in a positive and balanced environment is the right way to go.