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4 Ways to Help Younger Employees Thrive in the Workplace

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For many years now, employers have been well aware of employee engagement and retention issues in their workplaces. Employee engagement should be at the forefront of every manager's mind.

As the years go by there is becoming an increasing shift in generations in the workplace environment - those from the baby boom generation are becoming a minority, as millennials begin to take over the workforce. Therefore an adaptation in strategy is key, in order to keep younger employers engaged and thriving in the workplace.

Attracting the best of the millennial generation to work for you is critical to the future of your business. Their education, career aspirations, technology skills and enthusiasm will define the 21st century workplace. This younger generation seeks challenges and opportunities, however they have a drastically different outlook from the baby boomer generation on what they expect from their employment experience. Here are our 4 tips to help keep younger employees satisfied and thriving in the workplace.

Younger employees, millennials, are more often than not uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures. They’re seeking a varied, interesting and exciting career along with constant feedback. Millennials want a management style and company culture that is different from anything before.

Training & Learning Opportunities
Millennials are characterised as ambitions - with a desire to continue learning and developing their skills and knowledge, therefore moving upwards through an organisation. If their desire to learn and progress is not met - they will move on quickly.

If you’re eager to retain and develop millennials in your company, why not introduce a culture of mentorship. Younger employees thrive on collaborative work and support from colleagues. Best practice is to partner new young employees with an assigned manager, who helps them understand the workplace culture, and provides coaching and support in their learning and knowledge development.

Flexible Working Opportunities
Younger employees are seeking a flexible approach to work - companies such as Google and Apple are two of the best at attracting and retaining talented millennials. Google are world famous for their success at combining work and fun - providing employees with scooters, slides and ball pits. Their relaxed yet efficient culture and management style appeal to the millennial generation who are seeking flexibility as critical to quality of life.

Younger employees tend to live by the “work hard, play hard” mentality, therefore in order to satisfy these employees, employers need to understand this concept and work to accommodate the desired lifestyle of a young professional. Millennial workers crave the freedom to work to their own schedules, in order to meet that desire many employers are allowing younger workers to come in early, stay late, or even work from home. The days of the traditional 9-5 schedule are diminishing, as ‘Work-life Integration’ becomes a new philosophy. With the rise in technological advances individuals are carrying their jobs around in their pockets and bags - receiving emails to mobile phones, attending meetings via Skype, social media usage and the ability to work remotely - make work a consistent part of our lives when we aren’t in the office.

With work-life integration, employers trust their employees to complete their work, regardless of how many hours they spend in the office. Millennials value this flexibility, and are increasingly attracted to companies that trust their employees’ work ethic and also respect their personal lives.

Workplace culture
Younger employees are no longer viewing their jobs as just jobs, they are seeking out careers that they find personally engaging, fulfilling and enjoyable at companies that allow a flexible, fun and collaborative workplace culture. Creating a successful workplace culture that appeals to millennials is vitally important in helping them to thrive.

Young professionals thrive under hands-on-experience, they want to be trusted and respected for what they have to offer and they want the ability to voice their opinions. In order to create a successful culture in the workplace allow younger employees the freedom to voice their opinions, engage with others and be part of decision making processes. However, most of all try to encourage a family atmosphere in the workplace, ensure that all employees are happy and productive - try to make work feel more like home.

To improve workplace culture and to create an environment that all employees enjoy, why not create after a fun out of office culture for your employees. Arrange social events for your employees to interact outside of the office; dinners, drinks, activities and events are a great way to improve relationships between employees to create a thriving work environment. The younger generation of workers will value these perks and social interactions, their “work hard, play hard” mentality will thrive.

Feedback & Encouragement
One of the key traits of millennials in the workplace is that they welcome and often expect regular feedback and praise for a job well done. They want to know that their work is worthwhile and that their efforts are being recognised. To help your younger employees thrive and develop it could be worthwhile setting targets and providing regular feedback and encouragement to the millennials.

Creating a workplace that appeals to and supports both millennials and all employees can be extremely tricky - however if business leaders manage to get it right, then their organizations will reap the rewards. Younger employees are creating a significant change in not only how work gets done, but workplace culture as a whole, as they thrive off collaborative working and the useage of increasingly vast technology. These young employees are complex, challenging and ambitious - however bring unmeasurable value to companies and businesses as long as employers understand how to accommodate their needs.

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