Serial Entrepreneur and CEO, VaynerMedia
Millennials are changing the work environment. The generation that grew up online, came of age during the height of the 2008 recession, and is saddled with student debt doesn’t expect the social safety net to be in place as they age. Their attitude about the workplace is different from older generations, and they won’t hesitate to skip from job to job if their needs aren’t met.
Workplace culture is very important to millennials, who will soon make up the largest segment of the working population, as baby boomers retire. Employers struggle with attracting millennials, as well as creating a culture to retain them.
Millennials aren’t that different
Frequent turnover is expensive for any business. The best way to boost productivity and continuity is to create a culture that is welcoming. Content workers are more likely to stick around for years rather than months, says Gary Vaynerchuk, serial entrepreneur and CEO of VaynerMedia.
“It’s shocking that companies don’t spend more time building a culture that encourages retention,” he said.
The millennial workforce isn’t much different from any other generation, Vaynerchuk points out. Every employee wants to feel like their employer cares and listens. However, millennials are used to more one-on-one attention and expect similar interactions on the job.
No company has the human resources to provide that, which is why Vaynerchuk believes each employee should act as if they are in the HR business. When everyone steps up their level of caring, it creates a welcoming culture that produces better results.
Ways to inspire
Building a good company culture benefits everyone, not just millennials. It doesn’t even have to cost anything if you follow Vaynerchuk’s three tips to inspire a stronger workplace culture:
“Understand that workers’ objectives change over time,” Vaynerchuck said. It isn’t always about more money. For example, sometimes employees seek increased responsibility or a better work-life balance.
Create serendipity and intermingling between employees. Encourage employees of different ages and roles to spend time together and learn from each other’s perspectives.
3. Be humble
Don’t allow executives to live in ivory towers and make subjective calls. “When a CEO learns that he works for everybody, the paradigm shifts,” Vaynerchuk said.
When the culture is positive, it will spread by word of mouth.
“Recruiting new employees gets easier,” Vaynerchuk said, “when potential hires witness positive employee engagement.”