10 ways to keep Millennials happy in the workplace

Millennials have grown up in a society thriving on innovation and technological advancement. They expect to be able to use technology to improve efficiency at work. For them, change is the constant, and they will demand this for an employer.

For managed service providers and any organisation with a substantial IT staff, it’s not just about finding and keeping good employees. They face an even bigger challenge.

They need to attract staff with the necessary skills to manage complex systems, meet ongoing and ever-changing technology demands, and support an innovative (almost bleeding edge) approach to technology adoption.

Fortunately, a wave of Millennials or Generation Y (those between ages of 18 and 31) are surging through the business world, which is causing corporate and HR executives to rethink recruitment and retention strategies and focus on this emerging class of workers.

>See also: In the digital economy, how can businesses keep the millennial generation happy?

Millennials really want to make a difference, and they want to feel like their role has a positive impact on the organisation and wider society.

They frequently assert these desires in preference for higher wages. If businesses can promote this internally, they will have happy Millennials.

Here are ten key factors that are driving the Millennial generation in the workplace today.   

1. Pay is still a primary driver

Gen Y has greater expectations about the work environment than previous generations, but those expectations also involve salary, according to research from California State University, Fullerton’s Center for Research on Employment and the Workforce (CREW). Younger workers ranked the importance of pay higher than other generations did.

2. Embrace and encourage collaboration

This will help create an effective team where productivity is balanced with creativity if everyone is afforded the ability to participate in projects. Millennials want to make positive contributions to their company. Even the most junior employees have ideas worth listening to.

3. Accessible work hours

Among Millennials, the concept of a typical workday is obsolete. Allow for flexible working hours. This does not mean working from home five days a week, but some flexibility makes a big difference to Millennial job satisfaction.

4. Non-traditional workspaces

Offices and cubicles may quickly become relics of an earlier time, but so too may many of the face-to-face meetings that we’re accustomed to. Video and web conferencing, file sharing and web tools allow people to collaborate in real time across the office or across the world. Some companies are creating open workspaces, with alcoves and snugs for impromptu gatherings.

5. Let them BYOD

Specifically, their own mobiles. Gen Y grew up with technology, and their mobiles are the centre of their lives. Rather than have workers conform to your technology, let them use your technology on their devices – with the proper security precautions and endpoint management, of course. But don’t let the security concerns derail a BYOD policy.

6. Location, location, location

The location of your office is important for commuting purposes if employees can’t work remotely. Research from Lloyds Bank revealed that 18 of the 20 most popular areas for young professionals are in the London area. The other two are Hove and central Brighton. But these areas are pricey.

Other popular locales include south Manchester and areas in Newcastle, Sheffield and Nottingham. In terms of affordability, Durham, Nottingham and Liverpool are best bets for those 22-39, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

7. Keep the lines of communication open

Millennials want feedback, and they want to discuss it with you regularly. A quarterly review isn’t enough – talk to them weekly, if not more, often about their performance.

8. Listen to your younger employees

This might sound obvious, but how do you create a company culture and working environment to attract and retain Gen Y employees? Ask them. But understand that what works in your organisation might not work in another in the same industry. And company culture can be difficult to change in companies that have been around for decades.

>See also: Move over Millennials – how is your workplace going to ready itself for Generation Z?

9. Don’t ignore other employees

While it’s true that Millennials are projected to comprise the majority of workers by 2025, you likely still have more Gen Xers and Boomers in your companies at present. In the mad rush to attract and keep qualified younger workers, you don’t want to ostracise those who have been by your side from the beginning. What programmes and opportunities does your company have that appeal across the spectrum of employees? What programmes might appeal to older workers? You should be listening to every employee.

10. Trust your gut

There is no one-size-fits-all scenario or magic Swiss army knife to create the perfect environment for Millennials. Ask your Millennial workers what they’re looking for, find out what other companies are doing, create a company culture that values every worker, and be prepared to trust your gut when it comes to making decisions.


Sourced from Mark Banfield, VP, International, Autotask

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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