When running a business, keeping the absolutely best employees around for the long-haul is always a challenge. Likewise, attracting fresh, hungry millennial talent requires a perhaps less traditional approach to doing business.
For example, in a recent survey regarding what millennials want from work, the following were considered cornerstones of the modern employee:
- The ability to make a difference within their organizations versus feeling like a cog in the machine
- The opportunity to work with a diverse group of people
- Passion, and the ability to truly get excited about their day-to-day jobs versus grinding away
In a similar vein, millenials also have different expectations in regard to office spaces and the general workplace environment. Whether you’re trying to attract younger talent or simply ensure that your own office space has entered the 21st century, keep the following in mind to avoid looking like a dinosaur to your new hires.
Create Comfortable Conditions
For starters, your talent should look forward to coming to work in the sense that they’re comfortable and almost see the office as a sort of second home. Even if you can’t afford a swanky downtown location, you following elements of your space can help your workers feel comfortable and productive:
- Lovely lighting: stylish solutions such as pleated shades can help control the amount of light you let in while still looking fabulous
- Superb seating: for example, make sure your desks are comfortable or consider implementing standing desks for your employees interested in staying on their feet
- Personal touches: give your talent the freedom to customize their desk space with knick knacks, photos and decor to help them feel more at home
The more comfortable your workers are, the more likely they are to perform for the sake of your business.
The Ability to Socialize
Your talent will inevitably get down in the dumps if they feel like they’re operating alone versus as part of a team. Therefore, provide as many opportunities as you can to collaborate. This may mean having a designated shared tables for collaborative work or an open seating environment to encourage talking amongst each other during projects.
Additionally, you should provide workers the freedom to take their work beyond the office in a social setting such as a coffee shop or restaurant. Sometimes you need to simply escape the office to truly perform at your best.
Casual Dress Code
The suit and tie stereotype appears to be a dying breed among millenials. That being said, you shouldn’t throw your dress code out the window, but instead allow your talent the opportunity to express themselves. Some industries are inherently more formal than others, especially if you’re client-facing; however, use your best judgment and again consider how your talent may perform better when they don’t have to worry about the pressures of conforming to a dress code.
That being said, you need to hold your workers accountable when adhering any of the aforementioned tips. As you provide your workers freedom, you should also ensure that you’re not being a pushover and that your talent is truly getting down to business.
After all, there’s a fine line between being too soft versus a slave driver: make it clear that you’re flexible as long as your workers are performing.
Attracting millennial talent requires a mixture of creativity and flexibility for any given business. Be open to changes in your office space as means of evolving and embrace the change accordingly.