3 Characteristics That Make Your Company Culture Attractive to Millennials

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About the Author: Andrea Tamez

What do you think about when you hear the term, “Company culture”? Do you think of casual Fridays? Do you think of health benefits? A culture exists no matter which company you work with, and the connotation of the term is widely varied. Proactive companies work to incorporate a specific company culture that satisfies employees and attracts job seekers. For example, Google has a floor in their Googleplex that is a gym. They want to offer a worry-free environment for their employees. I mean, if you go to the gym on a regular basis, wouldn’t it be cool to go during your lunch break and not take time out of your morning or afternoon? With characteristics like these, Google has become one of the most sought out companies to work for.

As a Millennial, company culture is a key characteristic I look for in a work environment. We, as a generation, want to feel like we belong and have a purpose because this is more important than salary or benefits. We want to go to work and feel like we are making a difference. As Forbes has put it, Millennials tend to look for an agile work environment. An agile work environment is just as it sounds, an environment that responds quickly to changes rather than keeping strict policies and procedures. Here are some key characteristics of agile work environments and how they relate to Millennials. If you offer some of these characteristics, your company will become more attractive to Millennials.

  • Flexibility: We want to know that if we want to take off for a day or two we can do it. That doesn’t mean we will take it, but it gives us the comfort that if something was to come up, the time is available. At the Chamber, we have options of personal hours, vacation time, and flex time. Having many options for taking a day off gives me peace of mind when I need or want to take a day off.

  • Responsibility Distribution: We like to know that work won’t be the same every day. We like to work on multiple teams or projects at once, so we know every day will be a busy and productive day.
    At the Chamber, we all have our own position. Each staff person has projects, programs or events to lead, but we also take the time to help each other and collaborate as a team, so we know we have the best event or program we can offer to the Garland business community.

  • Limited Formalities: We tend to work most efficiently when we know what needs to get done and we have a timeline. We like to have control of our timeline, allowing us to get it done on a schedule that works for us and the company. Like I mentioned, at the Chamber each staff member has their own projects, programs and events. With time and opportunity, we learn how much time is needed before an event to get everything ready. I have been with the Garland Chamber for 11 months and it has been a learning experience, but now I know how long it take for me to prepare for the programs I lead, such as the BOLD Series, Small Business Week, and any program or event I have scheduled for the year.

Before I started working at the Garland Chamber, I didn’t know the extent of the Chamber’s events and programs or its company culture. On November 2016, I attended my first Direct Connect networking event. That Direct Connect was my first look at how the Chamber staff works and acts around businesses. My second look was also in November, at the Vendor Expo for the City of Garland. At this event, I met Alexander Helgar, who manages membership development. The Chamber’s mission states that we are servant leaders for business growth, and Alex was giving his time and attention to each business to help them with what they need. My third look was April’s Business Expo. My previous employer was an exhibitor at the circus-themed Expo. I left my booth for a bit to walk around the Expo and see what other businesses were there. At registration, everyone was just so nice. The staff was preparing for their tasks and how they were going to work to make sure everything went well at the event. I met Liza that day and I knew she was busy with her event, but she still would take the time to talk and listen to anyone who came up to her.  Then Jenna came by our booth and took our picture, which she later posted and tagged us in it on Facebook, and that gave us a bit more exposure. Toward the end of the event, I saw the whole staff get together and talk about exit strategy: what all needed to get done so they could finish up there and get to go home. The Chamber staff worked so well as a team. It was incredible. After I left the Expo, I went back to work to finish a few things and headed home. At that point, I was driving and hour and a half to get back home. I remember calling my mom and telling her about my day and how I saw the Chamber staff work. I told her I was so impressed, and that one day I wanted to work with them. Who knew that within a few months I would see the Small Business Program Coordinator position posted online - and I would end up getting it!

Seeing the Chamber’s company culture in action was the moment I was hooked. I wanted to work for them. They had some of the characteristics I was looking at for my next job. That is how important company culture was for me. Every generation looks for something different: Millennials look for agile work environments, Generation X tends to look for job security and benefits. Finding the right company culture is key for happy employees. So, I leave you with this thought: who do you want to hire and what characteristics do you offer to attract those new employees?

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