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Not Your Grandparent’s Company: Bringing the Workplace into the 21st Century

To remain competitive, companies need to change with the times. They need to bring the workplace into the 21st Century to attract the talent and skills necessary for a competitive advantage.

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Credit: Tempura

Gone are the days when employees dedicated the better part of their lives climbing the corporate ladder, working 40-plus hours a week year after year with all their hopes pinned on an early retirement. That was the way our grandparents worked, and it’s being rejected by Millennials and, increasingly, Gen-Xers. To remain competitive, companies need to change with the times. They need to bring the workplace into the 21st Century to attract the talent and skills necessary for a competitive advantage. 

For many Millennials, a job is not merely a means to an end. It’s an opportunity to fulfill their sense of purpose and to give back to the world. This is a benefit for everyone, as it means Millennials are more engaged in their work and, hopefully, more satisfied. But it also means that Millennials aren’t motivated by the Apple Watch (or other flashy tech gadget) the company gives to employees who reach their 10-year anniversary. Instead of waiting for those milestones, companies need to offer perks that build loyalty on a daily basis.   

Tech startups would have you believe that Millennials and Gen-Xers want Foosball tables, arcade games, and indoor playgrounds. But if your employees are truly engaged in the work they do for you, then juvenile diversions will do little to earn their loyalty. Instead, companies should consider offering employees services that meet them where they are—at work! 

The most effective loyalty building services are those that employees need, period. It may sound obvious, but it does little good to offer dry cleaning services if every day is Casual Friday. If, on the other hand, you offer services that employees use on a regular basis, they’ll become a natural part of their work-life and an expectation for the workplace. Consider, for example, food delivery or auto refueling. If employees become accustomed to accomplishing these mundane tasks during their workday, they’ll be perks worth staying for.

Also consider what your Millennial employees value. Visa and passport services may not be an everyday need, but your travel-loving employees will appreciate them nonetheless. Smartphone repair ensures that their beloved devices are always in tip-top shape, and wellness classes let them try out the new fitness craze to keep themselves in shape. 

Companies can entice employees to use these services by making it easy to set up appointments. For Millennials (and, let’s face it, Gen-Xers) that means scheduling services via their favorite mobile device. Employers should choose a service provider that offers a simple Web portal and mobile app from which employees can request services from pre-screened merchants. The ease of use extends to Human Resources as well, as services are easy to choose and manage, and analytics provide valuable insights into which services are being used and which ones aren’t. 

Millennials considering employment at your company have very different expectations for the workplace and their career. Employers that meet those expectations by addressing their specific needs and values will be more likely to attract and retain top talent.

Learn more at espresa.com

Related:
Computerworld's IT Salary Survey 2017 results
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