How to Nurture Gen Y In Your Office

Congratulations, you have recruited young and talented millennials for your office! Now you should nurture the Gen Y to tap their talents and to bolster their loyalty. Here are some suggestions for tricks up your sleeves.

Managers are mentors

Gone are the days when managers are authoritarians who dictates what the underlings should do, say, think and wear. Be wiser and make sure that your managers can serve as mentors for younger officers. Managers must walk the talk and lead by examples, not merely instruction-machines who keep giving orders without showing how and why these instructions should be implemented. To avoid excessive emotional attachment, set clear parameters on what is expected from both mentors and mentees.

Promote a culture of openness and dialogue

Millennials want to be heard and taken into account. Listen to them and give feedbacks on their ideas and opinions. Do not diss them simply because they are young, in the contrary, you should look closer for innovative, out-of-the box ideas they might offer. Encourage them in public that what the Gen Y do matter for the company. Be transparent as much as possible, do not keep unnecessary secrets because sooner or later the millennials will find it out anyway.

Focus on deliverables, not formality

So your young recruits have finished their projects well, but they find it hard to come early to the office. Relax your 9 to 5 working hours a bit, do not force them to adhere to that old-school schedule (unless for obligatory morning meetings, of course). If their working attire do not influence work, let the Gen Y wear what is comfortable for them. Keep your focus on what they should deliver.

Give chance to build their capacity

Let the millennials expand their capacity. If your company have enough resources, fund them to take courses related to their work, or even better, give scholarships to pursue higher education degree. Otherwise, give them paid or unpaid leave to enroll into those courses or higher education. If necessary, bind them with contracts to ensure them stay in your office for particular period of time after the capacity building activities.

Embrace the social media

Social media is very much embedded into Gen Y's lives, it will be useless to ban social media in your office computers -- they will still access it through their mobile phone anyway. A more strategic move is to open your bandwidth for social media. Set social media accounts for your office and encourage your staff to interact with those accounts. Make sure to also implement a social media guideline/code of conduct that encourage the staff to give positive insights about the office in their social media.

Make the office fun and healthy

This trick is good for everyone's mental and physical health, not only the millennials'. Imitating Google's famous offices might be too much (and may hurt your balance sheet), but you can start small. For example, by scheduling karaoke nights, organizing yoga sessions in the office and providing fresh fruit at the pantry. Renaming meeting rooms is another easy idea -- forget meeting room 1 or meeting room A, put holiday destination instead like Bali, Rome, or Bora-bora; so next time you announce meeting you can say 'Let's meet in Bali next Monday!"