Millennials are becoming a prominent part of the workforce. Right now about one-third of employees in the U.S. fall into that category. Millennials are people born between 1982 and the early 2000s. Employers are tweaking their approach in attracting and retaining these younger, talented workers.
Staples Advantage Workplace Index recently surveyed this age group about what makes them happy and productive at work. Employers may find some of these perks can help the overall morale, not just that of the millennials on the payroll.
- WORK FLEXIBILITY
Flexible work schedules are something we’d all like more of, but the study found millennials in particular give this concept a lot of credence. In fact nearly half of those polled (49%) say a flexible schedule improved their happiness and even more (59%) say their productivity improves. More than half of millennials say they work from home after leaving the job site, compared to 39% of all U.S. officer workers.
- ECO-FRIENDLY WORK ENVIRONMENTS
Many people are working hard to protect the environment. An eco-friendly workplace is important to millennials too. Half of those surveyed agreed on that issue, while 35% of all workers rate an eco-friendly environment important in the workplace.
- FEED THEM
Who doesn’t like snacks, especially when that post lunch zombie like feeling starts to take over. Fifty-one percent of millennials say a well-stocked break room leads to happiness, 35% say food and beverages at work reduce stress levels and another 35% say that kind of environment boosts productivity. You don’t have to break the bank on the snacks. Buy in bulk and allow everyone to recharge.
- FREE STUFF
Like those free snacks, millennials enjoy a workplace with on-site perks. An occasional free lunch, a gym within the building (or even a membership to a nearby fitness club) or a game room leads to more happiness among millennials (46%).
Perhaps most important of all and the least expensive thing millennials are looking for in a workplace is strong leadership and feedback. That’s where you, the boss (or better yet, leader), must rise to the occasion. One in five millennials says the boss is the main motivator at work, 35% say strong leadership defines a good work culture. Show appreciation too, as 28% believe there’s a direct link to that and being more loyal and 28% say recognition from management motivates them to do their best.
Many times millennials get a lot of flack. But they are going to be taking over as more baby boomers exit the workforce. Adjust your strategies now and prepare for the onslaught of new employees as the world continues to evolve and break tradition.
Kandi Chapman is an author on topics related to employment background checks, company culture and human resources. She is President and Founder of MBI Worldwide, a global employment screening company. Kandi is the recipient of the 2014 Silver Eclipse Award for implementing a positive company culture within her organization, and was honored as one of St. Louisans Top 100 People To Know in 2015.