Sometimes change happens slowly and sometimes it forces itself on you before you’re ready. One thing that is certain, however, is that it can’t be avoided. Therefore, understanding what change is in store for your business needs to be every manager’s top priority. And arguably no facet of a business is more important than the people who work there.

The modern workplace is undeniably changing. Gone are the days when employees were simply concerned with job security and a competitive salary. Studies tell us that by 2025 millennials will make up roughly 75% of the workforce. Which means that catering to the needs and desires of Gen Y is essential to the future health of any business. The question is: what are millennials looking for when it comes to choosing a career or position? More than ever before, they want a well-rounded career experience, one that optimizes the balance between their work life and their personal life. It is no longer just about matching skills with compensation. A variety of factors need to be considered to create the ideal work environment, involving a combination of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical components.

Many in the HR industry now refer to this as the “Employee Experience”, and the companies that prove best at identifying, designing and delivering an attractive and fulfilling employee experience are the ones that will be poised for the greatest success. Maybe the best way to envision this changing approach is to think of employees as another form of customer. Rather than selling them the services of your business, however, you are selling them on your business itself. Millennials are attracted to meaningful positions, positive work environments and opportunities to grow with the company. Then, once you have found employees that fit your vision for the future, retaining them long-term will require offering creative freedom, relative autonomy and supportive management. Then, regardless of the industry or business structure, maintaining this successful model will rely on your ability to monitor morale and adapt to the specifics of your staff.

An obsession with short-term results is all too common in the business world and is the enemy of a cohesive and efficient workplace. In order to retain the top talent in your industry it is crucial to offer a fully inclusive experience that provides more than the mere completion of tasks. Creating an inclusive and adaptable atmosphere increases the comfort and satisfaction of your employees, two things that are of utmost importance to the millennial generation. There are a number of other trends to consider when dealing with a Gen Y workplace:

Freedom

Young professionals today are not interested in punching a clock or having their every task monitored and measured. Allowing flexibility with regard to work hours, remote activities and process styles can go a long way to producing satisfied, loyal employees.

Transparency

The infamous “need to know basis” is a relic of past days. Modern employees are less willing to blindly accept orders and tasks without an understanding of the bigger picture. Making the business goals and processes available to all key staff helps them understand the strategy behind their work and helps keep everyone pulling in the same direction.

Input

Ensuring that every employee has a voice in the organisation is one of the key characteristics of a successful, content workforce. Nothing destroys morale faster than employees feeling as though management doesn’t value their concerns and opinions. Providing an open, collaborative atmosphere for sharing ideas and suggestions helps cement pride and loyalty.

Overall, rewarding a wide range of achievements above and beyond monetary goals allows employees to take pleasure in their accomplishments and feel as though they are truly involved in a symbiotic partnership.