Company culture, compensation, benefits, location, position title? When asked this question at a recent seminar, I gave my answers careful thought. Out of 3000 responders, company culture rated most important aspect. I found it interesting how most around me were quite surprised by this fact. The presenter went on to define company culture and how it encompasses aspects such as feeling valued at work, having a respectful boss, or having the flexibility to work from home.
People began to mutter: “Must be a millennial trend” and “that has to be Generation Y’s choosing, not us older workers. We can’t be that picky.” Since I’m considered a millennial, this certainly sparked my interest. Why did these attendees consider ‘company culture’ to be a recent trend?
Needing to make an impact is NOT a millennial trend.
Employees want to know that the time they put in matters to the company. They need to know they are valued and that their contributions will affect the company long term. What are YOU doing to show your employees that you value their efforts? Remember: a $5 Starbucks gift card can go a long way.
Seeing there is a higher reason for doing a job is NOT a millennial trend.
Employees need to know that when they are crunching numbers all day it’s for a higher reason than just to give them a migraine. They want to see that when they do their job correctly, X, Y and Z will happen as a result of their actions. Even the burger flipper at your favorite joint can feel satisfaction at a job well done; do your employees feel the same?
Respect from your boss is NOT a millennial trend.
Respect is not a generational trend; it’s a human trend. We all want to feel respected for our work, our ideas, and our attitudes. Whether old or young, no one wants to be disrespected. So, believing this is a millennial trend really doesn’t make sense. Indeed, employers should be willing to show respect if they want to ask for it from their employees in return.
Having more flexibility COULD be a millennial trend.
It seems us millennials are often labeled as a different breed. I understand we seem VERY attached to our cell phones, and older generations are perplexed as we communicate through a mish-mash of abbreviations such as ‘TTYL,’ ‘LOL,’ and ‘BRB’. Perhaps our tech-savvy ways also transfer into us being more aggressive in the workplace. Sometimes we think that the flexibility of working from home or outside of the typical 9 – 5 day will help us to be more productive, so we are inclined to push our employers for what we want.
Fun atmospheres COULD be a millennial trend.
When I was interviewing for my position, I came across many companies that LOVED to have fun and they weren’t ashamed to brag about it. From tree houses, to kegerators on tap to having Dance Dance Revolution dance-offs, these companies were all about the ‘work hard, play hard’ atmosphere. I hate to say it, but I think these companies are bending over backwards to attract millennials: the ones who might have problems with growing up or issues with transitioning from the college lifestyle. Here at my office we don’t have a kegerator or tree house, but from discussions I’ve had with my parents, they think my work environment is much more ‘laid back’ than theirs.
Company culture is a big deal no matter what industry you are in; it can either make or break your employees. It incorporates morals, values, how your company runs and how your employees make sense of their work contribution. It can give employees the drive they need to get their next promotion, or help them remain loyal.
So, next time you hear ‘company culture’ – don’t be so quick to judge. This could affect you more than you think.
Do you think ‘company culture’ is important? Would it play a large part in your job decision process?