Business is all about people. As an employer, you’ll know this all too well. Bringing together the right team and helping them thrive is crucial for your business. But too often, employers aren’t helping everybody play to their strengths because they don’t know how best to facilitate a big section of today’s workforce. Namely, millennials.
So, who are millennials exactly? Quite simply, millennials are people who were born between the early 1980s and late 1990s. By now, a number of millennials will be employers themselves. They’re the largest generation of employees in today’s workforce and there’s a string of benefits to hiring them – if you know how to attract and accommodate them.
Read on for our guide to helping millennials thrive in your business…
The strength of a new generation
So what is it that makes millennials so special? To start, they’re the first generation to be fully acclimatised to technology. Computers were introduced to them in their childhood and teenage years, meaning they’ve never had to re-adjust the way they work to fit it in. Whether it’s computers, smartphones or software and apps, using technology is natural and familiar to them, where older generations may have to adapt.
And you can add education to the list too. Millennials are the best educated generation in the workforce. Because of their age, they are also very socially aware, and in touch with modern society. Millennials are hardworking too. Despite the unhelpful ‘lazy’ stereotype, research by leading consulting firm ManpowerGroup found that millennials work just as hard as other generations. In fact, they found that 73% were working more than 40 hours a week but are still upbeat about their careers.
But how can you make sure your employees make the most of their strengths? First of all, avoid common pre-conceived ideas of millennials as entitled, disloyal and work-shy. None of that is true; the workforce has simply evolved with different needs. As a business, you need to focus on how you can change to accommodate this.
- Don’t shut them out
One thing often mistaken as a sense of entitlement is in fact a millennial’s desire for purpose. Create a working environment where even the entry level workers are encouraged to contribute ideas that could have a bigger impact.
- Mentoring and feedback
Part of this desire for purpose is knowing your job matters, so don’t forget to give your employees feedback. Like most employees, many millennials like regular feedback. But they aren’t so open about asking for it. Be prepared to advise, praise and mentor your employees. Simply leaving them to it will create a feeling of ‘do whatever you want, this job has no impact’, resulting in a loss of motivation and poor output.
Typically, millennials will want more money – eventually – as do most employees. But that doesn’t mean you have to double salaries. With training opportunities and added responsibility over time, you can create growth within any role. It will benefit your business, as well as giving employees a sense of development and progression.
- Flexibility and balance
No, this isn’t a guide to gymnastics. The immediacy of modern life, new technology and constant connection has led to the workforce being less suited to 9 – 5 behind a desk. Introduce flexible hours and even some opportunities to work from home. Your millennial work-force could achieve a better work-life balance if it’s on their own terms, as well as a much-improved work rate.
Adapting and improving
As a business, you can’t afford to have a sizeable chunk of your workforce unable to thrive. With small changes like these, you will benefit from a harder working, happier and more loyal set of employees.
Article by Jonathan Myers, director of UWM Accountants, a friendly Leeds-based team of cloud accounting experts with over 35 years of financial experience.