A few years ago, millennials made up approximately 36% of the workforce. By the year 2020, it is projected that millennials will make up at least half of the workforce, creating a huge cultural shift for all kinds of businesses.
This might not seem like a big deal, but the ramifications of the shift are already taking place and employees are taking notice. The changes are important to recognize and to prepare for since these kinds of shifts within a business also tend to have a large effect on the business’s culture.
The importance of a business culture cannot be overstated; companies who do not value this aspect of their business are not going to succeed nearly as well as a company that values it highly.
Culture is what sets a business apart from all of its competitors. It also helps to attract new customers and intrigue potential talent. It is important for businesses to note that as the presence of millennials continues to grow in the workforce, the need for an established business culture is critical.
Why Do Millennials Value Business Culture?
Years ago, a job was meant to pay the bills. People went to work, got their jobs done and then they came home to take part in things that mattered to them. These days, the idea of choosing a job means a lot more to workers, especially millennials.
For this age group, choosing a job means choosing a line of work that is meaningful to them; they’re looking for businesses that have clear goals and purpose. If a millennial does not share the same values as a company, then chances are they’ll end up looking elsewhere.
How Millennials are Improving Business Culture
a) Changes to Employee Bonding
When it comes to employee bonding and social events, millennials are an asset to business culture because they put an emphasis on trying new things with their fellow coworkers. Whether it be putting together a department-wide sports league, monthly lunch outings at new restaurants, or happy hour at the dive bar next door, millennials are game.
The atmosphere calls for employees from all departments and all walks of life to force themselves to really engage with one another and work as a unit. Sports like kickball and dodgeball are perfect examples, where employees need to learn each other’s names, talk on the bench and use strategies to beat the other team.
These kinds of events are highly valued by millennials, who see the usefulness of trying new activities together and getting people out of their comfort zones.
b) Flexible Work Schedules
The regular 9-5 that people have been working for years is having its last hurrah, and that’s largely in part to the values of millennials. This group of workers is much more aware of their personal time and value a flexible schedule that allows for better work/life balance.
This doesn’t mean that your office is going to be taking advantage of a flexible schedule; rather, it puts an emphasis on coming and going as it works for an employee’s lifestyle so they can get their work done when it’s best for them.
This change in business culture has seen great improvements for many companies since workers don’t feel as confined to a concrete schedule that dictates their life. This kind of relaxed scheduling ensures that projects still get done, but helps to ensure that workers are happier and more productive by coming and going when they feel more comfortable.
c) Technological Bonding
Millennials are experts with their gadgets which greatly benefits businesses. In fact, millennials are a great asset to your business because they often encourage some healthy competition and cross-office bonding.
Tech toys like the FitBit can allow employees to share their progress with others in the office, and regular competitions can be had to see who works out the most or who has the most steps in a week. Other options like gaming apps can be done on one’s individual time; however, these games offer cross-office bonding and great conversation in the office the next day.
Other games like Pokémon Go are ideal because they require workers to physically travel around the office or town looking for Pokémon. Augmented reality games like this are a great way to create some friendly competition within the office or even between competing offices.
Rewards for the office winners could be something as simple as lunch for the team or a Friday afternoon off.
d) Active Lifestyles
Another one of the reasons that millennials are a great asset to businesses is because of the value they put on a healthy lifestyle. The shift in culture has seen more employees performing their meetings outside and taking calls outdoors while they get in their steps.
There has been an increase in the awareness of how beneficial it can be to get outside during the day, including improved mental health, increased creativity and improved mood.
As this notion to get outside makes its way into the workplace, businesses are seeing a shift to a more relaxed atmosphere that encourages employees to work where they’re most comfortable.
When it comes to improving the culture of a business, it’s not just about building a team of like-minded employees. When an employer forces workers into a specific style of work, it is common that the individual talents of workers won’t be able to flourish.
The benefit of including millennials in your team is being inspired by their values to improve the work culture for everyone. That means putting a higher value on their personal time, increasing employee connections and creating a culture that supports employee wellness.
Millennials are a great asset to your business. Although they’ve received some judgment for their attitudes in the past, this group of workers has the potential to make a very positive change in your team’s success.