Being Innovative Is The Only Way To Attract Millennials

2 min read
Jan 16, 2015

Gen Y at an innovative companyCh-ch-change. That’s all you hear when you think about Gen Y. And come 2020, they’ll take up 50% of the workforce. So like it or not, they’re changing the workplace. How can companies prepare for this workplace shift? By being innovative.

Millennials in the workplace aren’t tied to traditions. Instead, they’re looking for a workplace that will encourage them to unleash their creative ideas. If you’re looking to attract and retain this young generation, then think about how you can tailor your organizational culture to fulfill their desire for innovation.

Start With The Leaders

These young, creative individuals are eager for direction from their boss. 61% say they need specific directions from their boss to do their best work, according to an MTV study. While it sounds great that they want to listen to you, there’s also a downside to this. A survey by Deloitte revealed that 63% of Gen Y believe the biggest barrier to innovation was management attitude.

Millennials crave change. But since they rely on managers for direction, they’re feeling stifled by traditional methods and attitudes. So let go of the tried-and-true ways. Give them bigger projects or give them a shot at running a meeting—either way, show them trust. Even though they’re known as rebels, they also grew up with helicopter parents and are used to being shown The Right Way.

Start With Listening

Only about half of millennials feel their organization encourages people to suggest new ways of doing things. No one likes to be ignored, especially this generation. Rather than block out the noise, take a break to listen.

Consider giving employees a suggestion box or use surveys. Keeping them anonymous will provide extra comfort in knowing they won’t be negatively judged. And don’t forget to actually act upon the feedback or you’ll end up at square one. 

Start With Routines

Millennials grew up being told to think outside the box. So keeping them locked in won’t help them thrive. Deloitte’s survey also found that almost 60% of this generation believe organizations can be innovative if they use established processes. Think about scheduling activities, putting aside hours, or giving them different tasks to encourage creative thinking.

Start With Your Brand

The market is tough. And if you’re looking for a competitive edge, consider this: 78% of millennials were strongly influenced by how innovative a company was when deciding if they wanted to work there. We’re not saying that you should go out and change your entire business model. Smaller changes like leveraging technology or having unique perks are enough to attract this generation.

Gen Y has different expectations in the workplace, and they’re not ones to rely on traditions. They’re looking for ways to unleash their creativity and for companies that think creatively, which is why innovation is a keyword for millennials.




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