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Managing in Memes: Millennials Mandate More Memorable Management Motivators

Posted by Chris Murch on August 5, 2019

Antiquated best practices in the workplace are starting to go by the wayside in favor of fresh and original ideas. These ideas are brought on by management to help motivate and understand the younger sector of employees that make up a large percentage of today’s workforce. 

In 2018, Pew Research stated that the cutoff dates for the millennial demographic are from 1981-1996, or roughly ages 22-38 today. However, every summer the workforce around this country expands as we see nearly two million bachelors degrees handed out by American colleges and universities every year. This doesn’t even factor in the hundreds of thousands of associates degrees, masters and doctorates that are also finished up around this time.

By 2020, millennials will comprise 46% of the workplace, according to Ethos3. By 2025, they’ll take up 75 percent of the global workforce. Nearly half of America’s workforce next year will be made up of a generation that favors new and bold ideas, and in only six years, globally, millennials will be the dominant majority. This trend will continue exponentially as the years go on and the workforce is introduced to generation Z (1997-), so adapting how one does business is imperative.

With internet culture and technology being a part of young people’s lives from the get-go these days, updating best practices in workplace management is key in motivating and retaining this new working generation. Whether it’s adding new schedule mandates like giving “Summer Fridays” to employees, adding 30-minute “mental health break walks” during employees’ days, integrating some internet culture into work presentations or stripping away dress codes, workplaces are becoming savvier in how they do business and how they work with the younger generations. 

As the internet culture progresses, creating memorable management tools and incorporating newer forms of tech in the workplace are becoming commonplace. It’s no secret that millennials are visual learners. As they generally read less than older generations, have become accustomed to binge-watching shows instead of binge reading and respond more to seeing rather than listening. Chalkboards have been replaced by iPads in schools, and lectures have been replaced by PowerPoint slides. So how does a business keep up and make sure that you appeal to the younger generation and don’t get left behind? Here are some memorable, new management tools to integrate within the workplace coming from, you guessed it, a millennial.

Teamwork and collaboration

More and more young people grow up playing sports than ever before. With this comes the cultivation of working with teams and groups. This group work has also been pushed in schools from a young age. Involving members from the workplace to an integrated and collaborative environment not only teaches group skills but allows for more interaction throughout the day. Instead of being stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day alone, millennials tend to crave connection in the workplace and are eager to offer their own ideas, and willingly listen to the input of others. 

Visual presentations

As mentioned earlier, millennials are by and large visual learners. Lecturing in meetings is no longer a truly effective way to reach a younger crowd. According to a study from Microsoft, people generally lose concentration after eight seconds. So without proper stimuli for the younger generation in the workplace, the likelihood of them retaining information just spoken to them is low. If you incorporate visual aspects to whatever presentations or ideas you are presenting, it will go further with visuals.

Some flexibility in work schedules 

According to a Deloitte study, nearly 75 percent of millennials believe that a “work from home” or “work remotely” policy is important. Allowing flexibility in work schedules prompts employees to not be stagnant. Fresh ideas can arise from being in a new environment because one is not seeing the same thing day in and day out. 

Gallup recently reported on the new remote work trend and had some surprising revelations on employees that work outside the office. They wrote, “According to our State of the American Workplace report reveals that engagement climbs when employees spend some time working remotely and some time working in a location with their coworkers. The optimal engagement boost occurs when employees spend 60% to less than 80% of their workweek — or three to four days — working off-site.”

In another piece concerning work flexibility, Forbes found that 82% of millennials said they are more loyal to their employer if they have flexible work options and that millennials are naming working from home among their top choices for employment and in many cases. So not only does providing schedule flexibility provide increased productivity, but it’s becoming more important for retaining young talent.

Interactive games and music throughout the office

A question that may arise in upper management meetings of a company is, “How do we make this office more fun and engaging?” Incorporating games, interactive activities and music throughout the office is a smart way to keep the workplace alive and fresh. As Computhink states, “…The idea that employees can work hard, get results and have fun has become a workplace standard for innovative companies.” 

Engaging your employees and allowing them the space to have fun in an office environment can go a long way. Employees should be excited to come in, when not working remote.

Work outings/intramural leagues 

Going along with the idea for groups and teams, outings with your sector of business or creating a team to perform in an intramural sports league is a cool way to create a better work environment. Not only does it prompt you to get to know employees better in a non-work setting, but it allows them to build with others and show a potentially competitive side that can bring out the best in people. Taking one hour outside of work to take employees to a company happy hour or participate in a kickball game can go a long way for morale in the office. In almost every city in the U.S., there are sure to be intramural leagues you can participate in. So don’t be afraid to get a team together from work and get to know each other more in a non-work environment.

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