Millennials and Work Environment
The workplace is somewhere that is in constant flux, with a perpetual rotation of employees, policies, products, even decorating. And yet, we can be so reluctant to change; even we leaders and managers get mired in habits. But as leaders, it’s our responsibility to adjust not just our own habits, but the environment we create for our employees, to suit changing trends.
Cultivating the right environment for your employees—every one of your employees—can actually make your job easier, creating a productive work environment rather than one that requires your perpetual attention. And when we say “every one of your employees,” we mean adjusting your habits to suit both the seasoned staff and those millennial newcomers.
As millennials flood the workplace, it’s important to create a work environment in which they will succeed, and more likely than not, it’s not the environment you’ve been supporting for years.
It can be a daunting task, changing your habits, so we’ve come up with a few situations in which you can begin to identify and shift your workplace environment to best mold your culture for a new wave of employees.
What you’ve been doing: Giving out an employee satisfaction review.
What you should start doing: Do the satisfaction review in person. This will create a system of two-way feedback where millennials have an avenue for changing something they don’t agree with.
What you’ve been doing: Giving a very specific job description.
What you should start doing: Show your new hires the tasks they need to do in a day and their level of priority, and give them the independence to plan the rest on their own. You’ll find the people who are looking to go above and beyond by giving them a way to do so.
What you’ve been doing: Rewards vs. consequences in disciplinary action.
What you should start doing: Discourage behavior you don’t want by being an open but firm boss; be available for discussion. If action needs to be taken, then have a very specific and non-emotional disciplinary process. Attempting to abuse power doesn’t typically work in the modern workplace.
What you’ve been doing: Trying to be the “fun boss.”
What you should start doing: Be the boss that your people want to work for. It’s just as discouraging to work for a totally ineffective boss as it is to work for one that is a jerk. The manager who is working to make their employees as effective as they can be is the one that makes people want to stay.
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