Millennials says businesses are on the right track when they hold barbeques and company retreats, but efforts can fall flat if they end there. Tracy Thomas, a 31-year-old senior marketing manager at Oasis Outsourcing in West Palm Beach, says fun activities are the place to start to create a sense of family. But day-to-day, managers need to encourage an environment where co-workers can socialize, office doors are open, and successes are celebrated. Whatever level you are, you have to feel you can reach across and create relationships and that its supported, Thomas says.
Creating that collaborative environment can be easier with the right office design. Richard Awdeh founder of Miami-based medical-technology incubator, Cirle says his companys office features blackboards and whiteboards throughout, open desks, bean-bag chairs, and a snack wall. The culture fosters collaboration among the team, he says.
With a workforce almost entirely of millennials, even hiring at Cirle is a team effort. I have others on the team spend time with the person and make sure that anyone I hire is someone they can socialize with. Awdeh says his reasoning is pure business: If someone likes the environment and people they work with, they end up doing great work.
Some companies are finding the most effective way of creating that second-home environment comes from allowing millennials to create social bonds the way theyre used to doing it online. At Cirle, Introsso says she and her co-workers instant-message each other all day long. We might not speak face-to-face for five hours, but were constantly communicating.
At other workplaces, employers are taking a different tactic embracing parental involvement to attract and hold onto young talent and boost morale. They are inviting millennial parents to open houses and hosting Bring Our Parents to Work Day.
At the heart of all successful millennial workplaces is communication. Todays 20-somethings want to be able to candidly speak their minds.
We are a social-networking generation, which is why communication is so important to us, says Jeremy Condomina, a 27-year-old business analyst and computer-system trainer with Dade Paper in Miami. Whether or not we hang out outside of work, we want to know that we have a work family and even if we step on toes, its going to be OK.