Why Your Millennials Are Unhappy

By: Elijah Mendonca Monday February 27, 2017 comments Tags: Millennials, workplace productivity, employees, business management

Millennials are a different breed of worker than you might be used to. On one hand, they're more demanding, inquisitive, and questioning of the status quo than you might be comfortable with. On the other, a millennial with drive will work harder than anyone you’ve ever hired. As a generation, we’re largely disillusioned with the idea that one should work their entire life away - we would much rather have a blend of the two, with work life and personal life coalescing with one another to become an amalgam of freedom, passion and hard work. If you're not a part of the millennial generation you've likely gone through life with a different outlook, and there's a chance that these "generational demands" may come as a surprise.

If you’re having trouble retaining your younger workforce, don’t be too quick to dismiss the entire generation as too expectant or listless. Keep in mind, in any relationship, it’s a two way street and you have to give as much as you take! So here are some low-cost ideas that will help you connect with and excite your millennials:

Flexible Working Hours

If you expect your workers to be functioning at optimum efficiency all day, every day, you’re going to need to balance that with an appropriate tradeoff. Most millennials appreciate the opportunity to have flexible working hours, work remotely, or have the ability to take off early if they aren’t explicitly needed for the day. If you use AllProWebTools, you don't have to worry about decreased productivity if your employees work from home as you can see all their activities in your workflow timeline.

Instead of enforcing a strict clock-in time, or reprimanding your employees for not being early enough with looming disciplinary action, give them options instead. Our generation has a deep respect for the honor system and overall, we try our best to abide by it, especially when given a choice. Obviously there are jobs that do require strict clock in times, like someone who answers the phone or serves customers in a store. However, if you are able to give a little flexibility when it comes to time, that effort will go a long way toward making your millennial employees happy. That said, there'll always be ones who are consistently late, or barely on time. If lateness is an issue, tell employees that work starts at 8:30 (if you expect them to be there by 9), and say they’re welcome to walk in anytime between 8:30 and 9. This will allow for a little leniancy when it comes to the start of the day but still increases the possibility that all your employees will show up on time.

Benefits and Paid Time Off

While most millennials are able to accept a lack of traditional benefits such as dental, vision, and a 401k, a lack of paid time off is typically a big issue. This ties in with what we mentioned earlier about millennials wanting more flexibility to better balance life and work. But if you give your workers paid time off, encourage them to use it or the gesture may seem disingenuous.

Many millennials have actually been accused of “ruining the vacation” (Entrepreneur.com), because they don’t take their allotted paid time off - in order to be seen as more dedicated to their job, or in an effort to prove that they’re irreplaceable. The Entrepreneur.com article mentioned above also implies that a lot of workplaces are actually furthering this belief, sending “mixed signals” about taking time off. We understand that, for small businesses in particular, it can be hard to go even one day without one of your employees. But remember, your company runs on rechargeable batteries. If you give your employees ample time to recharge you will save a lot of time, stress, and productivity issues further down the line. 

Cameras & Micromanagement

Do you have cameras around? It’s not a problem if you do - they have quantifiable security and accountability benefits. But it’s a smart move to make sure that your millennials are aware of this feature from the beginning. While it might not pose a problem to some millennials, it can make others feel untrusted - which can make or break your relationship with a diligent worker. If you simply make your employees aware of your cameras on day one they will better accept them.

The same goes for excessive micromanagement. As a business owner, you have to ensure your entire operation is on track every day, but micromanaging will actually reduce the effectiveness of your employees who may feel distrusted. And on the moments you're away from the office - the efficiency level of your employees will likely plummet. A better approach would be to keep an open, honest line of communication with your younger workers and set the right expectations. Most often, millennials will rise to meet your expectations when you give them a little freedom and trust to do it.

Make Their Lives Easier

While this comes as an added cost to your business, it also has the potential to seriously strengthen the bonds between your millennials and their job. Buy them lunch occasionally. Help pay for their phone plans or car insurance in some manner. Set up a Spotify, Netflix, or Amazon Prime account that they can use. With millennials, it’s truly the small gestures that are appreciated. 

In the end, you have to make decisions that are in the best interests of the company. If you can't afford to offer your employees flexible hours and paid vacation time, look to the small things and figure out what you can do. Even something as simple as stocking the fridge with drinks your employees are allowed to consume can go a long way. 

Bottom line, millennials can make fantastic workers. The best way to get their best is to show them appreciation, respect, trust and flexibility and you will be well rewarded for your efforts.

AllProWebTools offers a great way for business owners to monitor employee work while allowing flexibility for their workforce to work remotely. Check out why AllProWebTools is the preferred business management tool for small businesses. Try our demo today!

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Elijah Mendonca

About the Author: Elijah Mendonca

Usually going by "Shiva Mendonca" or "the coolest guy ever," Elijah is an Interactive Media Design: Video Game Design graduate from Becker College, MA. Having moved to Fort Collins, CO on a whim after graduation, he spends his free time sleeping, eating, writing, exploring the natural beauty of Colorado, eating, and sleeping (in that order).

His other interests include listening to music (metal), rock climbing, crossword puzzles, playing squash, swimming, hiking, and cycling. Read more of his work on the facebook page Shiva Mendonca - Author.

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