In the next 10 years, millennials will comprise nearly 75 percent of the workforce; over a quarter expect to have six employers or more during the course of their careers. There's already stiff competition amongst companies to hire the "best and brightest" of the younger generation. So, given all this, how can managers attract the top millennial talent and ensure that they stay?
Paul Polizzotto--founder and president of CBS EcoMedia has thought long and hard about this question. Says Polizzotto, "The future of my business depends on my ability to create a company culture that provides millennials with ample opportunity to make meaningful contributions, in an environment that they find interesting and inspiring." Indeed, the future of every business depends on recruiting and retaining talented millennials.
Here according to Paul Polizzotto are 5 powerful ways to create a work environment that will give you an edge in attracting and retaining millennial employees.
1. Think meritocracy, not hierarchy
Polizzotto isn't big on job titles--he's found that his millennial staff appreciates an egalitarian approach. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey found that millennials feel constrained by what they perceive to be "outdated working practices;" 65 percent believed that rigid hierarchies and traditional management styles, specifically, do not get the best results from young employees.
2. Create a communal workplace
The New York offices of EcoMedia are configured to encourage personal interaction and connection. Work spaces are arranged around a common area that's furnished with comfortable seating and tables, so staff can gather informally to share their latest brainstorms or discuss longer-term ideas and solutions. Says Polizzotto, "I've found that managing over email and through scheduled meetings actually stifles innovation. Instead, it's important to facilitate an open, ongoing creative conversation; designating an area of the office for that purpose ignites a synergy that yields big, fresh ideas."
3. Work on an important cause together
A majority of millennials reported in one study that their decision to accept a job was influenced by an employer's philanthropic or service-based initiatives; 55 percent said they decided to accept a job after discussing such initiatives in the interview. Volunteering together as a company, and witnessing the tangible, measurable impact of your collective work, results in an energy and enthusiasm that carries over to the workplace. And with increased employee morale comes greater productivity and less absenteeism.
4. Embrace diversity
According to Deloitte, 83 percent of millennials are actively engaged when they believe an organization fosters an inclusive culture. Says Polizzotto, "My business philosophy is in alignment with the millennial view. I firmly believe that the key to innovation and creative problem-solving is to bring a wide variety of perspectives to the table."
5. Provide flexibility
In Ernst & Young's Global Generations Research survey, lack of flexibility was cited as one of the top reasons millennials quit jobs. According to Polizzotto, the 24/7 nature of email and texting makes this more important than ever. "At our West Coast offices, which are located near the beach, we often take breaks during the workday to go surfing or swimming, or to enjoy lunch on the rooftop deck, where there's a view of the ocean."