Written by: Anne Swenson, HR Coordinator, MidwestHR
Millennials, like all new generations to the workforce, come with fresh ideas and new perceptions on how work should be. This generation, born from the early 1980s to 2000, is the most virtually connected, technology savvy and team-oriented generation ever. Successfully adding Millennials into your mix of Baby-Boomers and GenXers is a challenge, but not out of reach. They will outnumber the other generations in the workforce by 2015, so taking the time to understand them will benefit you in the not-so-far future.
Millennials have a different way of thinking about work than previous generations. They value flexibility, variety, community and transparency at their jobs. Having flexible work schedules and locations (working from home or at the office) are important to this generation. As long as the work gets done timely and accurately, they have less of an issue being on the clock in the evenings or on weekends than other generations, so this can work to your advantage (just be sure to stay within FLSA weekly work regulations). Providing flex scheduling or allowing employees to work from home one day a week might be a good compromise. And don’t think employees of other generations won’t like a little flexibility as well!
Millennials thrive on new assignments and are eager to learn a multitude of skills. Some managers believe Millennials want to move up quickly through the ranks solely to “get ahead”, while in reality they want to move up in order to do something different. Remember, these employees grew up with the fast-paced internet, so like stimulation to say engaged. Keep them challenged by giving them a variety of projects and jobs. Just be sure to give a lot of feedback – this generation was brought up with lots of communication and praise from parents and teachers, so they need to hear from you, otherwise they think they aren’t doing a good job. This is a departure from the older generations who hold the policy “no news is good news.” Bottom line is to know your employees and know what they need from you.
Millennials also respect transparency and are interested in the mission of a company. Giving them updates on the company’s future and vision and how they fit in to the big picture are great ways to keep them happy and productive. This generation’s employees are less focused on making money for themselves and tend to gravitate toward a feeling of fulfillment and work for the greater good. They want to be a part of companies that have the same view. Community in the workplace is also a really big perk and some think of the office as a second home. Plan a volunteer day which will help them feel fulfilled and will also give your employees of all generations a place outside of work to bond, not to mention the help it will provide an organization in need.
Finally, this generation also strives for contact with people in key positions in the company, so make your top tier available to them. They have lots of ideas, some good and some bad, but take a listen. Use that young vigor and new perspective to your advantage. There are many bright, young employees out there who want to contribute and make a difference so harness their energy by mentoring those new employees. It will help not just the employees, but you and your company.
Please contact us to see if MidwestHR, a Chicago PEO, is the right partner for your growing company.
MidwestHR supports growing companies by helping them simplify their business through HR Outsourcing. MidwestHR is a Certified Professional Employer Organization (CPEO) headquartered in the Chicago land area. As a CPEO, we provide business owners, CEO and CFO leaders with relief from dozens of time-consuming HR & employment related functions, while helping protect the business from ever-increasing HR demands and liabilities. In addition, our clients have the ability to offer “Fortune 500 type” benefits, while being able to better control their premiums in the process.
MidwestHR regularly works with all types of businesses, including medical practices, surgery centers, non-profits, professional service firms, technology companies, printing companies, religious organizations, start-ups, manufacturing businesses, trucking companies and financial institutions.