It’s difficult to imagine how companies will look 10 years from now, but after reading so much material on Generation Y, and speaking to candidates that are now shoulder to shoulder with them, I’m curious (and hoping) that we will see an interesting shift that takes place a few years from now whereby employees return to the solid values and work ethic from years past, and employers find themselves in a position where they can scale back on accommodating the “wants” and “must haves” of potential hires.
We have heard about the “spirit” of these young adults, and what they will be looking for as they enter the workforce and deciding on a new employer. This new wave of employees has specific things they will seek out and need to have in order to accept an offer. And it goes beyond a great technology, impressive leaders, good comp package, and healthy working environment. Many admit that they are open to change and will most likely leave a position for another soon after the 1 year mark.
Companies, who need to attract and hire these people are coming up with unique ways of accommodating them:
Workspaces that are open and collaborative;
Unlimited time off;
Fun spaces with video games, ping pong, cafes, in office bar and lounging rooms;
Remote positions that will help ensure work-life balance;
Offering top technology in the office that allows for exceptional connectivity they are so used to having;
Workout Space with full gym;
Free meals, snacks, outings;
So the golden question: When do Millennials get their work done?
Aside from those attempts to attract the Millennials, research also tells us that there are other key elements needed in order rope these employees in and keep them in place:
Compliment them often as they enjoy flattery and thrive on it (tasks big and small)
Recognized and rewarded for their work
Able to work at a company that gives them a good opportunity to make friends
They have a true desire to learn from their managers and be presented with a career path abundant with coaching that will bring them up through the ranks to management status
Over 60% of millennials won’t be accepting an offer from a company unless they can be certain that there are no restrictions on access to their social media platforms. And while we are on the topic, these folks are so tech savvy and such talented multi-taskers, that on average, they are able maneuver swiftly between these tools; phone, tablet, computer, television, back to phone… 27 times per hour. Previous generations averaged 17 times with fewer gadgets.
When researching this topic, a large majority of people writing about the Millennials are actually Millennials themselves. They are extremely talented (crafty) at putting a positive spin on the characteristics and habits of these employees.
Aside from the many obvious reasons that what’s described here shouts “hurdles”, there is also a contradiction that’s uncovered. These ambitious individuals have a vision and strong urgency to climb the corporate ladder. Beginning with the interview process, they are laying out how they will be looking to learn, grow and eventually manage. They want to lead, run the show, get compensated and recognized… simultaneously accomplish these milestones early in their careers.
It’s incredibly difficult to see how this can happen when one; longevity and loyalty won't always be realized - because again, most admit to not growing deep roots with an employer and two; there’s a good chance that many will be incredibly distracted with a work environment that pulls them away from actually getting work done.
How do you build leaders with that combination?
If you think about the excessive investment that goes into securing these new hires, wouldn’t it make sense to consider not falling into that trend? If time, money and resources are just as important to early stage companies as they were 15 or 30 years ago, doesn’t it still make business sense to grow lean and solid?
Although it’s necessary and critical to get the right people on board that will propel your business forward, ideally getting the “right” people should consist of the ones that will stick around long enough to bring a deep layer of value, and not look to make a move only after a short employment stint.
It might make sense to consider a fresh approach with this new hiring world. Perhaps some positons you’re hiring for could consist of part-timers. With all that’s stated here, chances are, some of these folks won’t necessarily be working full days anyway as they check in with friends, take a long break in the lounge and workout at the gym… so why pay for it. The beauty with this situation is work performed can be easily measured, and paying out benefits for a full time employee is eliminated or postponed.
Bonuses are great motivators for a job well done, but in this new era of challenging individuals, maybe a bonus for certain “time” milestones would help Millennials view their current employer a bit differently. This might help the team focus on the tasks in front of them and establish roots instead of “what’s next” with a new company.
Regarding the bells and whistles that many companies are scrambling to put into place like the cafes, bars and game room, it’s a perfect opportunity to show this generation how good it feels to actually earn those perks. After a certain amount of growth and revenue has been reached, implement those rewards and put the team in the spotlight that it occurred because of their efforts, dedication and hard work. Recognizing them with a modest plaque of sorts in the game room or cafe because of their accomplishments would be a powerful objective. It’s a savvy way to teach what appears to be missing in this generation.
When it comes to incentivizing a new hire, equity is often on the table. Instead of giving that to an employee from early on, it could be discussed and shared after a certain amount of time elapses.
With so many people focused on “me” and “now”, it’s difficult to imagine how businesses will be able to keep up. Turning the tide will eventually take place at some point whereby the “ceiling” of tolerance for operating this way will be hit. How great to be one of the early adopters to a new, old (proven) way of building a business and team: Your offering to a potential hire is a healthy work environment with a product that will change the world… and your employees’ biggest reward is the fantastic satisfaction of building something compelling, a job well done, and receiving fair compensation.
Undeniably a great business model regardless of the ever-changing desires of employees, and one that continues to stand the test of time.