If you’ve been managing people for a while, you don’t need anyone to tell you how the quickly the workforce changes. Right now, one of the driving influences in your ever-changing employee base is generational. By 2020, it’s estimated that millennials will make up more than half of the workforce, and by 2030, that increases to 75%.

A lot is changing…

You can’t fight the changing demographics of the workforce, so you might as well embrace them. You’ll likely need to give a little so you an get a lot from your millennial employees. Try these three strategies:

  • Give them freedom to express themselves. Millennials are known for doing things their way, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be an important part of a productive team. They pride themselves on personal expression that can sometimes go against traditional norms. Nearly half of all millennials have at least one tattoo and multiple body piercings are becoming more common. To leverage the talent this age group has to offer, it may be time to loosen up your dress code. If you don’t, you may lose a large chunk of potential talent.
  • Provide flexibility to balance work/life needs. Contrary to stereotypes that label them lazy, millennials are hard workers. The are not, however, workaholics. They grew up craving balance in their lives, and as adults, they demand it. If you can’t offer that, they’ll find a company that will.
  • Make your values clear. While money always matters, studies show it’s not the primary force behind millennials’ job loyalty. When they feel like they share a company’s core values and feel connected to its mission, they’re more likely to stick around.

While a lot remains the same…

How do you attract the best workers from this new generation without alienating other people on your staff? Focus on what everyone on your team has in common. It’s more than you think.

  • Everyone wants to be recognized when they do well, no matter how long they’ve been in the workforce. Studies show employees also want constructive feedback when they’re not living up to expectations. Learn to overcome barriers to effective communication to ensure everyone on your team feels heard and receives the input they need to be successful.
  • Train them on career-building skills. Make sure your training helps employees improve their hard skills and their soft skills. Both are critical to productivity, customer service, and career growth. The more of this training you offer, the more likely employees will be to advance within your organization rather than look for opportunities elsewhere.
  • Hire with the big picture in mind. Today’s labor crisis is not that different from those you’ve been through before. To compete in the battle for the best employees, focus on competencies rather than experience.