Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Duke Vukadinovic from FirstSiteGuide. His opinions are his/her own.
Times change as well as mindsets, community, expectations, etc. In other words, the tricks and leadership skills that worked even just 10 years ago are unlikely to yield the same positive results in workplaces today. As a business owner, project manager, or team manager, you need to figure out how to motivate your workforce, how to keep them productive and satisfied at the same time.
The easy way is just to have strict rules and principles, as well as penalties for those who do not adhere to them. However, you’ll probably end up with dissatisfied workers; in other words, you sacrifice loyalty for results, which is a far cry from the ideal solution.
From now on, it’s safe to assume that the majority of your workforce will consist of millennials. These are employees who are eager to learn, and who want to feel appreciated on an individual level. Sure, they are all team members, but much like The Avengers, each of them wants to be unique and useful in their own way. So, here are some suggestions that may come in handy if you want to establish a productive and healthy workflow in your office.
1. Offer more flexibility
We all have an image of a traditional workplace and how it is organized, but it’s time to move on from that vision. Just like Joker said in the movie Dark Knight “Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order.” Of course, you won’t have to do anything extreme; just offer more freedom and flexibility. Since we all have gadgets and internet connection, there is no good reason to deny someone the possibility to work from home.
Millennials are more than willing to sacrifice a portion of their pay for increased vacation time and more flexibility at work. By meeting these demands, you display a positive degree of trust that a younger generation of workers really appreciates. Just create a system that calculates the payment based on hourly rates, and measure how many working hours your workers have on a monthly basis.
2. Make them love their workplace
One way to make your employees love their workplace is to make it more interesting and entertaining. If they associate their office with something pleasant, they will be more than happy to show up motivated every day. You can do this by making break time more engaging and interesting. Furthermore, you can turn it into a form of team building exercise.
So, think about buying a pool table, or a gaming console along with some multi-player video games. These are fun activities your workers can bond over, and it will make them love the office even more. Furthermore, you can have a so called “happy hour” during Friday, or simply call it Whiskey Friday (doesn’t have to be whiskey, just find a drink you all love). These are minor changes that do not hinder the workflow; they only cultivate a more positive atmosphere.
3. Create individual projects
As mentioned, millennials love to feel appreciated and singled out. Therefore, it would be wise to incentivise individual projects. Monitor your staff, see what are their strong points and interests which will help you create a project optimized specifically for their skill set, and that is at the same time beneficial for you. It shows how you notice their skills and expertise, how you value them and trust them.
4. Clearly define goals and provide constructive feedback
If there is one thing new generations hate, it is vague promises. They want concrete goals and a business plan that clearly shows how they will be realised. So, tell them your goals, tell them all the tasks that need to be done for those goals to come to fruition, and segment those tasks in order for all of you to have a clear overview of your progression. This way, you will always know where you exactly are with your project and how much further you’ve got to go.
5. Foster professional growth
Lastly, people love to see advancement; they love to notice their professional growth and feel proud. Always allow your employees to learn something new that is useful at the same time. Organise peer to peer insight sharing sessions. Your workers will appreciate each other more, they will learn from each other and it will allow them to explore the synergy between their jobs. Furthermore, they won’t feel like they are wasting time, like their sole purpose is to earn you money. They will see their job as personal development and they’ll love it even more.
I hope these suggestions will help you out in your future business ventures and that they will help you with team management.