This is the year Millennials in the workforce will outnumber those from Generation X, and everyone seems to be worried about what it means for the workplace. Are big, publicly traded companies going to have to swap their boardroom tables for foosball tables?

I'm no Millennial, but one thing I've never understood is why anyone would work in a place where they weren't happy, and where they didn't have freedom-regardless of their generation. Sometimes I drive new people at G Adventures nuts, asking them questions about jobs they have had at other, more traditional companies. Did they hate their job? Did they hate their boss? Why do people leave or put up with it?

We spend more time with the people we work with than we do with our families. That's a lot of time to be miserable. I don't think happiness should be a perk that's only for young people, but if it takes the rise of Millennials to make companies take a hard look at how they treat people, I say, why not?

Here are three key aspects to creating an office environment that will make all of the people on your payroll actually want to come to work every day:

1) Give people the freedom to be excellent. If you treat people in your company like children who can't be trusted to make decisions, like how to manage their work time (blocking Facebook on work computers comes to mind), they will act like children. If you create an environment where everyone is engaged in something they all believe in, you won't have to hover over them.

2) Demand that people work hard, but don't forget to celebrate winning. Companies these days are being forced to think differently about rewarding people; some of them are realizing that a drunken blowout at Christmas once a year isn't enough, while study after study shows that purely financial rewards such as bonuses have only a limited effect on motivating people. Not doing anything at all is much, much worse.

Whenever you rack up any kind of win, from industry awards to hitting sales targets, you need to do something to make people feel appreciated and ensure they know how important they are to your company's success. It doesn't have to be only about spending money, either-some of our most meaningful staff events at G Adventures-like Random Acts of G Week, which we're celebrating this week as a way to encourage our people to spread smiles and appreciation with colleagues and customers through small, thoughtful gestures -- are centered around doing good, together. The critical thing is that everyone recognizes that they're not just clocking in and out and collecting a pay check. They're part of a community.

Some of G Adventures' U.S. staff in their brand new office in downtown Boston, where guests are welcomed with a blinking marquee greeting.
CREDIT: © G Adventures, Inc.

3) Stay focused on your passion and your purpose as a company. When you develop a reputation for being a "fun" place to work, you sometimes attract what I call culture vultures, people who are on every committee and who go to every company event, but who aren't necessarily very good at their actual jobs.

Culture isn't separate from performance, they feed off each other. People have to believe in your purpose as a company, and part of that is wanting every seat on the company bus to be filled with people who believe in what they're doing and who want to win. The foosball table can be a nice thing for a community to share, but it's not what brings you together as a community in the first place.