Managers Need To Know: What Do The Kids Want?

It turns out that benefits and perks are what millennials are looking for
It turns out that benefits and perks are what millennials are looking for
Image Credit: evan murphy

Managers are faced with a number of different challenges as they attempt to perform their job. All of this is made even more difficult by the simple fact that not everyone on your team is the same. Sprinkled in our teams are the so-called millennial younger workers who have a different outlook on life than the older members of your team do. As a manager you have to take the time to understand what your millennial team members are looking for from their jobs so that you can determine if you can provide it. If you can get this right, then you have a much better chance of keeping your team together.

Creating Perks That Are Either Budget Or Points Based

So no, a manager does not have the ability to control all of the different ways that the members of his or her team get compensated. Things like health care, the company’s bonus structure, etc. are probably pretty standard throughout the company. However, when it comes to the smaller perks that you can use your manager skills to offer to team members there may be some more flexibility.

Creating a system that allows your team members to win points that can then be applied to perks is one way of doing this. Points are earned through individual, group and company-wide achievements. Points can then be redeemed for perks like free groceries or transit, yearly gym membership, concert tickets, and more. Other perks might include a professional development budget, bonus vacation days, and more.

Creating A Team Member Technology Spending Account

Managers are responsible for supplying employees with computers and other essential office supplies. But depending on the individual and role, your team members might need different tools to be at their most productive. An example of this would be one employee who might work best with noise canceling headphones while another needs a second monitor to complete projects more efficiently.

To address this, consider offering team members a set technology budget when they start the job, but allow each employee to select their own tools. Not only will this make your staff more productive once hired, but it can also be a great recruitment tool to post on your career site and in job descriptions, showcasing how you invest in your employees’ success. Yes, this will require more effort on your part to keep track of individual employee technology budgets, but the end results could be well worth it.

Create Flexible Holidays

As all managers know from our manager training, most companies offer certain standard holidays off each year — including New Year’s Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. But not all employees necessarily celebrate these holidays. Managers can get creative and offer flexible holiday options in addition to any general vacation package as a form of team building. For example, a team member might choose to take his or her birthday or another holiday that means more to them off.

Managers need to realize that their team is increasingly diverse, so offering flexible holidays can help your team attract top talent across different faiths, cultural backgrounds, and values. And according to a study done recently, more diverse workforces lead to increased creativity and faster decision making.

What All Of This Means For You

In today’s competitive job market with record-low unemployment, managers need to take extra steps to attract top talent. By letting team members choose their own perks, you can stand out from the competition when it comes to attracting and hiring engaged employees. A manager’s ultimate goal has to be to find ways to make his or her team the one that people want to join. Perks may be the answer that you’ve been looking for. Try making these changes and then watch what happens!

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that managers can create perks by themselves or do they have to get the company to implement them?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As managers, one of the jobs that our company expects us to perform is to use our manager skills to find the next generation of managers that will lead the company after we are gone. What this means for us is that we are responsible for taking a look at our team and identifying the team members that we believe would make good leaders. This, of course, then brings up the question of just exactly what makes someone a good leader. Managers need to know this so that they can make the right staffing selections.