How Millennials Are Still Changing the Workplace, and How Your Business Can Work With Them
It’s no secret that the millennial generation made a confident entrance into the workforce when they came of professional age. With their creativity, open-mindedness and risk-taking mentality, there came an evolution in the way businesses interacted both internally and with customers. Companies across a vast spectrum of industries continue to rethink their processes, placing more emphasis on culture, flexibility and interesting methods of business innovation – not just as a result of the millennial “wave”, but in tandem with the current trends for corporate culture at large.
In the agency world in particular, millennials have brought a unique perspective that stems from their digital-first lifestyles and fast-paced methodologies. They’ve also changed the standards on diversity and inclusion, and enlightened colleagues to some unconventional thinking when it comes to business processes and inter-office relations. While many businesses have embraced millennials, and continue to find ways to empower and build their skillsets, others have found their impact to be challenging at times. While they’ve been named the “over-idealistic” generation, thinking and dreaming big is a necessity in today’s business world, particularly in creative industries. The important thing for businesses, is to find a balance of working with millennial talents and ideas to both enrich corporate culture, and develop smarter solutions for the company and for clients.
Take a look at some of our recommendations for making the most of your millennial relationships in the workforce:
- Millennials and Relationships:
Just as your customers want a relationship with your brand, and personal connection with its story, your millennial employees expect to have a relationship with the work that they do. They seek the connection in order to give their work meaning and purpose. If you don’t have strong brand guidelines or an established set of company values that reflects a unique culture, you should focus on building them fast – millennials are more likely to stay with a company that they feel connected to.
- Millennials and Technology:
Millennials have come of age in a technology-first world, which has proved to be a key asset in the workplace. With a combination of fresh thinking, quick adaptability and passion about the latest technological advancements, they often come to the table ready to tackle the next greatest internet sensation with ease and confidence. Use their quick wit and sharp ideas to create long-lasting impressions for your brand. Just give them the freedom and creativity, and see what they come up with!
- Millennials and Org Structure
With millennials’ out of the box thinking, some businesses find it challenging to sync up millennial employees with the right roles, where they can both stay personally interested/vested and achieve company goals. For this reason, ad agencies in particular are finding ways to reshape their organizations and the traditional concept of roles and org structure. Because millennials gravitate towards what’s interesting to them, let them work on a multitude of projects that best suit their skillsets and passions. Even more importantly, be smart about pairing them with the business solutions they can solve – for instance, just because an employee doesn’t technically work on a particular client’s account, don’t shut them out of brainstorming or offering strategic insight, especially if they show enthusiasm. While this type of org structure many seem daunting at first, it actually gives all employees the opportunity to pair passion with business goals and revenue generation.
- Millennials and Communication
Similarly to the above topic, millennials seek strong, consistent communication both within their immediate teams and across departments. They thrive in a collaborative environment, where knowledge sharing and trust building is present. In all reality, millennials want to feel appreciated for the work they put out, and be recognized by members of their team for their efforts. A study done by Randstad even found that 32% of millennials interviewed said that the most important quality in leaders is open communication, followed closely by 27% who expected support.
Embrace and facilitate your company’s cultural growth by organizing team outings, lunches and other fun events that encourage participation both inside and outside of the office. It will allow for better communication not just amongst millennials, but the entire work force.
Every generation brings new thoughts and business structures to the table. Rather than shrink away from it, or maintain your rigid old-fashioned structure, embrace the change! Drawing the millennial crowd into your business could make or break you in this ever-evolving, technologically-driven world. Think about creating an environment where all generations can thrive – who knows, they may just take your business to a whole new level of success!