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How to maximise your millennials

For all their bad press, we think millennials are the best thing to have happened to the workplace. Why? Because they’ve shaken up the hierarchical, stuffy and rigid dynamics of office culture and added a splash of creativity, freedom and fun.

You may agree with us, you may disagree. After all, you won’t be the first person to think millennials are fickle, pleasure-seeking sell-outs. Whatever your opinion, as a 21st Century employer, you need to harness their potential by understanding what makes them tick, what gets them up in the morning, and what’s going to get them skipping to work every morning (whilst taking a selfie, of course).

So, let’s take a bird’s eye view of the millennial mindset…

They’re up for team building

Mention the words ‘team building’ to a baby boomer and they’re likely to shuffle their feet awkwardly and look for the nearest fire escape. To a millennial, however, team building activities provide an opportunity to connect with their fellow workers and, in turn, make sure that they’re understood as a human being, rather than just a worker. When a millennial feels that their personality and strengths are truly understood, they feel empowered. And when they feel empowered, great things can happen.

They like their freedom

With millennials starting to saturate the workplace, Dolly Parton’s nine-to-five is getting blown out the water. Rather than being told what to do, when to do it and how long for, millennials are seeking job environments where they’re given the freedom and flexibility to create they’re own way of working. By allowing them their own path to success rather than hemming them into a one-size-fits-all routine, they’re far more likely to flourish and reach their professional potential.

Tell them how they’re doing

Forget traditional annual reviews. Millennials need consistent, frequent and involved feedback in order to stay motivated and confident in what they’re doing. They want to know that they’ve done a good job, and if they haven’t done a good job, they’re not afraid to hear it. For all their apparent lack of staying power, these people are self-motivated high achievers who genuinely want to do themselves – and their employers – proud.

Keep it real

Millennials can spot inauthenticity from a mile away. So don’t sugar coat your feedback, and don’t skirt around a difficult subject. The worst thing you can be towards a millennial is fake – these people want to be shown respect and any attempt to pull the wool over their eyes will just end in tears.

They want to be friends

Lastly, millennials flourish in friendly, accessible and open-plan office environments. So forget the hierarchical set-up of yesteryear. They want to sit side-by-side with their coworkers despite differences in rank. By getting rid of unnecessary barriers, you will satisfy their desire to make meaningful connections, which is a massive millennial motivator.

You may be sobbing into your cappuccino whilst you read this, but in order to get the very best out of your millennial workforce, you need to embrace this cultural shift. By moving with the times rather than against them, who knows what heights your business could reach.

If you need some help and advice on getting the best out of the millennials in your business, then pick up the phone and talk to us or send us an email.

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