We spoke to Eric Termuende, acclaimed author, speaker and founder of Now Innovations Canada, who took us through the perks Millennials really crave in the modern workplace – and regaled us with the importance of setting tech aside from to time.
How can employers optimize their culture?
A universal best culture does not exist, which is why I’m intentional about using the word optimize. The best culture for one organization might be a toxic culture for another. The more we understand the environment we’ve created for people and how they engage in it, the more optimized it can be. And so, if we look at the top places to work around the world; number one might be Google, but number four may be a grocery chain. Best culture for Google will be vastly different from best culture for the grocery chain. And it’s important to differentiate based on the qualities each company have, so they can not only attract but retain the right people as well.
In the shifting workplace, what’s essential for Millennial talent right now?
Having a good feedback mechanism in place is number one. The annual review as we know it is dead. If we look at organizations who have well developed soft skills, where there’s a real human component to the workplace. I believe that technology, while fantastic, can sometimes dehumanize the workplace. So as a result, we can work flexible and remotely, but unless we actually speak with people and see their faces we can go a full day without interacting with our peers – and it gets lonely.
According to a recent poll, over 40% of corporate America is feeling alone. And the health implications of that are the equivalent of smoking 15 cigarettes every day. Not only are the best tools recommended, anything from laptops to apps to pens and pencils, but also to maintain a real human element. This should be a focus when looking to bring on these Millennials and keep them happy.
How can employers ensure their employees really have a healthy work-life balance?
It depends on the individual. What I think companies need to understand is that balance is a subjective term. If you said you’re busy and I said I’m busy, that could look completely different. You could be working 14 hours a day and say you’re busy, whilst I’m working seven and say the same – there’s no real universal scale.
It’s the same for pain. I think the more companies compare externally what balance looks like to their employees, the more they’ll miss the mark. When we try and be everything to everyone we end up being nothing to anyone. And so, if we can start to understand what balance looks like to our employees and be really intentional about what makes sense for them and the firm, then there’s no limit.
It’s really about creating that optimized experience by understanding and talking to our employees to see what’s best for them. And then once we have data, to attract more people who want a similar experience.
From Facebook to IBM: Welcome to HR Tech Summit 2018
Almost one quarter of staff would walk over this sensitive issue