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Winning the millennial talent war

Any workplace optimization strategy needs to start with your business drivers. And for many today, the key driver for success is talent. How to attract the best, yes, but most important, how to keep them happy when they’re on board.

It’s easy to chalk the talent war up to a competition for millennials. But it’s important to understand that the reason attracting younger employees is so important is because there are more of them than anyone else. Millennials in the workforce outnumber Gen Xers two-to-one. Baby boomers are retiring by the thousands every day.

Your problem: A talent war

When we talk about a millennial talent war, we’re really talking about a battle for the best people to build the future of your business on.

And they can be fickle.

The data that does stand out about the millennial cohort is their willingness—and even eagerness—to job hop. According to Gallup, 21 percent of millennials have changed jobs within the past year, and 60 percent are open to a new job opportunity at any time. They’re the least engaged generation in the workplace. That lack of engagement and loyalty costs the US economy $30.5 billion per year.

Your solution: Not just a workplace, but a place of experience

So the question is, can you create a workplace that keeps millennials—and all your employees—happy, healthy, engaged and productive? And if so, how?

The latest strategy to address this challenge is to make the workplace an experience place. Top companies today are thinking beyond an office that offers “live, work and play” opportunities in the neighborhood. They are bringing ideal lifestyle experiences inside their building’s—and even their office’s—walls.

Here are some ideas on how you can provide a variety of environments for your employees within the same workplace.

Collaborate spontaneously with in-house social hubs.

We’re seeing more offices with in-house social hubs—places where people can congregate and collaborate; places that fuel accidental collisions. This isn’t the traditional office café or kitchen. We’re talking an on-premise coffee bar, where your employees can sit and have a coffee. They can chat and relax with a colleague for a meeting or a break in the middle of a busy workday.

Fuel innovation by setting up cross-functional spaces.

We’re also seeing a rise in innovation hubs—areas within the office created with the intention of sparking new ideas that soar. Sometimes, these innovation hubs double as showcase rooms. Then companies can present the cool things they’re working on to employees, clients, customers and prospects. Sometimes, they are places to bring in smart ideas from the outside.

One growing trend within the innovation hub mentality is corporate coworking spaces, where companies invite others into their space to create. Do you outsource a lot of work to freelancers or agency partners? Why not give them a space to work within your office. This way they can really get the feel of the brand and culture—and your people can feed off their creativity.

Do not compromise on connectivity.

A critical component you can’t overlook in all of this is connectivity. Too often, we see companies run with these great ideas of creating multiple work environments. But their people can’t actually work within them because they don’t have a place to plug in, or the Wi-Fi is super spotty. If you’ve ever seen people crowded around the one outlet in an airport terminal, you know this scenario. Power and connectivity must be ubiquitous in all spaces if you want your people to be able to use them efficiently.

Think of your workplace beyond just as a place to work. Think of it as a space allowing for different methods and types of work. The office should be a place your people want to be, not a place they have to be. And that is how you begin to engage them.

Learn more about what millennials want in the workplace. Read on!

Key Tips for Hiring Millennials

5 Tips for Recruiting Millennials

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