When considering a company culture that will attract Millennials and Generation Z, what comes to mind?
Many will imagine an office full of ping pong tables and arcade machines, with motivational quotes painted large across the walls and coffee tables instead of desks.
These visible, aesthetic qualities of company culture are easy to focus on, but do not give a proper representation of the bigger picture. It is, in fact, some of the less tangible facets of culture that are most important to the overall atmosphere of a workplace, but are also the most difficult to cultivate.
While the play stuff is fun and can help boost team member morale, cultural aspects like company-wide communication, stress management, and bureaucracy play a much larger role in employee engagement and your overall company culture. When applicants interview for positions with your organization, they’re vetting you just as much as you’re vetting them, and while a clean and comfortable working environment is important, most applicants are looking for more than that.
Much like previous generations, Millennials and GenZers are looking for the following things from an employer:
Healthy work/life balance
This will look different for every employee and every company, but the main thing to keep in mind is that every member on your team has a life outside the office. Some common ways to ensure the balance is kept include:
- offering flexible work hours and the option for remote work
- respecting when employees are off-the-clock
- providing an adequate number of vacation days
- enforcing a reasonable sick-day policy.
In addition to these ideas, consider options specific to your business that encourage a healthy work-life balance.
Compensation can be more than just the number on a paycheck. Younger workers are keen for benefits like healthcare, tuition reimbursement, professional development opportunities, and 401k matches. It is important for your organization to take compensation packages seriously, else you risk losing skilled Millennials and GenZers to more traditional firms who do.
The ability to progress within the company
In the modern business word, it is much more common to see a worker moving to a new company every few years than it is to see her remaining with a single organization for the entirety of her career. People are choosing this path because in many cases, it is the only way to progress up the corporate ladder.
It is well documented that frequent turnover within a business contributes to decreased productivity and increased costs associated with hiring and training, but are there negative consequences for the workers as well?
Of course! Adjusting to a new job is difficult for many – learning new names, adapting to new policies and procedures, changing insurance providers, and so on, can be very stressful. But increased opportunity and pay at a new company can make all of these headaches worth it.
The solution, then, is to provide these opportunities within your own company, and to make sure that applicants are aware of them from the start. If you want to attract and maintain the top young talent in your field, you must offer them room to grow.
To be treated with respect
All of our previously-discussed factors of workplace culture come together in this final point. Workers of every generation need to feel respected in their job, and providing adequate compensation, a healthy work-life balance, and opportunities for progress show a company’s respect for its workers.
In addition to feeling respected by the organization as a whole, people also require respect from their managers and team mates. To help ensure employees feel respected in their daily work, it is important to foster an environment that:
- embraces diversity
- utilizes healthy forms of communication and conflict resolution
- regularly recognizes and appreciates its employee’s contributions.
When developing your company culture, remember that it’s not a Crock Pot – you can’t just set it and forget it. As lifestyles, business practices, technology, and the world in general change, so too must your company culture. The advice above, however, will always be relevant – whether you’re looking to attract Millennials or Generation Alpha.
For more information on creating culture that engages and retains Millennials and Generation Z, download our free white paper.