Are Millennials different from the older generations? Absolutely. They were raised differently than the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers who serve as their managers in the workforce. And each older generation always freaks out about the younger generation's different ways.

Different doesn't mean bad, though. After all, aren't we all into diversity? Diversity of thought makes for a vibrant workforce. But, how do you make your workplace friendly to the younger generation?

Jackie Breslin, Director of Human Capital Services at TriNet, shares her ideas on how to make you workplace a friendly place for this next generation.

1. Collaborative relationships.

Millennials want a collaborative relationship with their leaders and peers, and they want mentors who help them grow on a regular basis. They appreciate a team-based approach as opposed to hierarchal structure, with 32 percent of millennials stating they would prefer to have open and frequent dialogue in the workplace, according to a recent study conducted by TriNet and Wakefield Research. Nurturing personal growth and development is important to millennial workers; and, the traditional boss, subordinate relationship doesn't support such needs.

2. Revolutionize performance reviews.

It's not breaking news that the performance review process is flawed. In fact, 69 percent of millennials see their company's review process as flawed. They often feel the feedback received is bias, infrequent and leaves them feeling blindsided. And, poorly conducted performance reviews drive 1 in 4 millennials to search for a new job or call in sick. Solutions such as new technologies or training for managers who conduct reviews help employers update the antiquated performance management processes.

3. Stifle toxic workers and work environments.

Many managers are hyper-focused on productivity, which can spur unhealthily competitive team dynamics that help toxic employees thrive; and toxic employees increase turnover of superstar employees, costing some companies around $12,000 in invested recruitment and onboarding hours. A more positive work environment helps superstar millennial talent succeed, because they feel supported by their leaders and teammates. Millennials need managers who look beyond productivity, and use a multidimensional approach to leadership to create a supportive work environment.

4. Intuitive employee onboarding.

A pile of paperwork is likely the last thing a new employee wants to see on their first day, yet most organizations still facilitate employee onboarding and hiring through confusing 25-year-old paper processes. Onboarding should be done through an integrated and modern interface that handles the tactile pieces of onboarding, while emphasizing company culture--reaffirming new hires made the right choice in joining a company,increasing performance and reducing turnover.

5. Streamlined processes.

Businesses need to get out of the dark ages to start meeting Millennials' expectations for a connected, on-demand working style. For example, businesses still use seemingly easy standard paper processes for things like expense reporting, but manual, paper reporting is burdening for employees. So burdening in fact, 60 percent of employees have had problems paying a personal bill because they were waiting for an expense reimbursement from their employer. And, 78 percent say they would be more productive if the expense reporting system was easier to use. Paper trail problems such as this are simply solved by using new cloud-based technologies or applications.

6. Effective communication training.

Managers need to be trained to understand how to communicate to millennials in a way that motivates them to be productive and do great work. With antiquated communication methods used regularly, 74 percent of Millennials frequently feel in the dark about how their managers and peers think they're performing at work. Poor communication can lead to a slippery slope of internal issues, including employee mistrust. Good news is, there is a multitude of new solutions, strategies, and technologies to train management on how to communicate more effectively, and to help facilitate meaningful peer-to-peer, and leadership-to-employee discussions.

7. Proactive company missions and visions.

Sixty percent of millennials say a "sense of purpose," is part of the reason they chose to work for a current employer, but they still feel that 75 percent of businesses are focused on their own agendas rather than helping to improve society--that needs to change. Companies need to be charitable and show a vested interest in social activeness. Including encouraging the charitability of employees through planned activities, such as regularly donating, adding a social responsibility focus to their mission, or team outings and group events for employees focused on giving back to the causes and communities they care about most.

In reality, a lot of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers would appreciate these changes as well. They are really employee friendly things.

Published on: Jan 12, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.