How to create a millennial-friendly workplace
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How to create a millennial-friendly workplace

2 Feb 2017206 Shares

Millennials will dominate the workplace of the future, as estimates show they will make up 75pc of the global workforce by 2030. Is your company ready for the invasion?

The future of work is on everyone’s mind at the moment. Robots, remote offices, healthy company culture and diversity have all become the major buzzwords regarding what the future of work will look like.

One of the major changes will be the dominance of the generation in the workforce. Baby boomers will become less frequent in the working world, while millennials will all but take over the workplace.

There are a lot of uncertainties surrounding the future of work, but millennial employees are a definite staple in organisations. They already make up 50pc of the global workforce.

Therefore, companies need to make sure they are prepared for the generational differences that millennials bring. Retaining employees, keeping them engaged and finding the best talent will not be the same across all generations. Your organisation needs to be millennial-friendly.

Paul Wolfe, senior vice-president of human resources at global job site Indeed, said its research team found a rise in searches for ‘remote’, ‘flexible’ and ‘weekend’ work between 2013 and 2014 in the US.

“This was part of a wider trend,” said Wolfe. “Interest in flexible work increased by 42pc from 2013 to 2015 in nine of the 12 countries under examination.”

This points to the gradual move towards flexible hours and open work environments for maintaining engaged, effective employees.

So how can your company move towards a better, more productive workforce? Wolfe has some advice.

Embrace technology

“We have unbelievable access to technology that can make us work better, faster and more productively, all at a relatively low cost,” said Wolfe.

“If you aren’t already, companies should invest in video conferencing, shared file folders and documents, as well as instant communication such as chat capability or information-sharing tools.”

Wolfe also suggests having necessary training in place for staff to be able to use these tools as effectively as possible.

Trust your employees

“In the old workplace, hierarchies ruled and people were expected to punch the clock. In the new workplace, results are valued over appearances, and getting the job done trumps showing everyone you’re doing it.”

Wolfe acknowledged that some employees do take advantage of free reign, but most workers act like adults and appreciate being treated as such.

“Not only that, they will be happier and healthier if given the right tools to do the job.”

Have a core goal

“If a company lacks a solid mission and goal, nothing else will go well. If employers are focused on a common, clear goal, they’ll be driven to do their jobs no matter where they’re sitting, or how they’re scheduling it,” said Wolfe.

Having a core goal will keep each individual employee focused on that goal to maximise productivity. When employees know exactly why they’re doing something, they are more likely to do it effectively.

Let them take time off

According to Wolfe, Indeed introduced a new policy last year that gave its employees unlimited holidays. “Employees take the time they need in coordination with their managers. They are no longer worried about what will roll over and what won’t.”

He reiterated that unlimited holidays are not taken advantage of because most people need and want to work, but the unlimited policy means they can plan according to their life needs without worrying about an arbitrary limit.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Trust can be hard to give to employees all of a sudden when you’ve never allowed employees to work out of the office or take unlimited time off. However, most employers and employees understand what is expected.

Wolfe suggested asking employees about any missed deadlines or dropped projects if the quality of work declines, and talking about how to improve the situation.

“With that tweak, you’ll know for sure whether working remotely is the problem, or whether the employee just can’t meet expectations.”

He said: “We all want a good work-life balance in which we can excel in our careers and also have a life outside of them. In the modern workplace, the tools are all there. We’ve just got to put them to use.”

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny joined Silicon Republic in 2016 as part of the Careers team. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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