It’s happened: Millennials (by most definitions, those born between 1980 and the late 1990s) are now the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. And they’re no longer the generation waiting in the wings to become leaders—they’re already increasingly entering senior and managerial positions.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that it’s going to take more than a beer keg and an in-house masseuse to drive sustained performance of your startup.
Beyond the perks and window dressing that business leaders adorn their exposed-brick workspaces with, what can be done to solidify certain ways of working that guide behavior to tangibly drive the results you’re looking for?
When the subject of onboarding comes up, I’m reminded of a friend’s recent experience starting fresh at a new company. Let’s call him Steve. On his first day, he attended an all hands meeting where staff were expressing concerns about heavy workloads across various initiatives to upper management.
Throughout the meeting, there was a recurring response: “Steve, the new guy will handle that.” It got to the point where someone asked, “How many Steve’s did we hire exactly?”
Humor aside, this type of situation isn’t uncommon. A hiring decision is made, but there isn’t much planning done in the interim before their start date. They show up on their first day to either be bombarded with tasks, or left without much to do.
One of the most common things I hear when talking to companies about their culture is, “our culture is like a family” OR “I want our culture to feel like a family.” Clients often cite examples of supporting sick coworkers and open communication, but are there deeper elements of a healthy family structure to consider?
I decided to look at what really makes a successful family and apply those same principles to building a better company based on research from leading psychologists in the fields of marital stability, divorce prediction, and couples therapy.
Amazon is arguably the picture of ultimate success in the world of business. However, its cut-throat internal business practices – including long hours, decreased time spent with family, and a lack of adequate vacation time – have led to high burnout and attrition rates within the company.
Although cut-throat organizations like this may seem to always succeed, there are numerous hidden costs of such a culture, including health care expenditures and employee disengagement.
The war for talent. The age-old battle waged by HR teams across the country, each vying to secure and retain the best people to help them achieve organizational success. The eternal effort to create systems, process, and benefits to help keep them once you’ve recruited them.
At the epicenter of the war for talent resides the tech industry, where many talented engineers and other highly-skilled workers have no problem jumping to another employer for a minor bump in pay or benefits. The result? Companies are forever trying to outshine each other with baubles, beer kegs and nap pods to try to entice this demographic to join them.
What this approach fails to do is inspire loyalty. Despite all the money that these companies pour into perks, at the end of the day, it’s just job hopping.
Kris Duggan is the CEO of Betterworks, a software company based in Redwood City, CA, that provides customers with an enterprise platform dedicated to goal setting.
With around 200 enterprise clients and about two and a half years of road behind them, the start of Duggan’s latest venture had its roots in his experience as the CEO of a former business. He, like many other executives, was searching for a better way to engage his entire team in the goal setting and goal management process.
It’s been quite a journey. When Margaret Keane was working as a debt collector at Citibank for $5.50 an hour, she had no idea that she would someday become the second woman in history to run a bank valued at more than $20 billion. Read More…