5 Ways to Create a Workplace that Spans Generations

Karen King

By Karen King
VP of Talent Management

Recently, I led a discussion with the leaders of my organization about evolving our workplace to prepare for the influx of Millennials (and Generation Z, waiting in the wings).  As I prepared for that discussion, it quickly became apparent that many of the recommendations resonated with me, a Gen Xer, and made good business sense.

Here are 5 tips I would like to share:

1. Create an environment where employees are proud to work.  Millennials want to align with an organization that makes them proud.  This is not only about the workplace, but also about community involvement and the ethical footprint of the organization.

2. Find ways to show that you value employees.  Millennials do not want to be a number; they want to know that their well-being, comfort and enthusiasm are important to the company’s success.  Perks are nice, but treating them like adults is more important.

3. Recognize employee contributions.  Frequent, positive feedback is the best way to harness Millennial energy and enthusiasm.  Promote based on skill and contribution vs. time in role.

4. Find ways to involve everyone.  Millennials want to contribute and know they are adding value.  Show them how they can contribute and make a difference in the organization. Don’t discount their ideas because they may lack work experience or don’t hold a particular position in the organization.  If they feel what they are doing is not important, they will lose interest and disengage.

5. Focus on results vs. face time.  Millennials work to live, rather than live to work.  They value flexible schedules.  Finding a way to build flexibility into your culture -- even if it is working from home one or two days a week -- will be of tremendous value.

While these points are touted as Millennial needs, I personally value these things in my workplace and I would bet, regardless of which generation you fall into, they are important to you, too.

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