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|Friday, June 06, 2014|
BY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It has been said that Portland is where America’s youth goes to retire. Our coffee, beer and bike culture has made Portland the destination of choice for the highly educated and unemployed. Though some may malign their ironic glasses, these hipsters are mobile, collaborative and very creative, making them excellent potential employees.
Many companies see the value of recruiting from this pool of available, talented and plaid-wearing workers, but are leery of how these new employees will change their culture.
Here are 10 ways your company can get on board with the hipster movement and make your work environment better for everyone.
Embrace the “strange." All too often businesses write dress codes, e-mail etiquette and performance expectations that are antiquated. Asking employees to cover their “Muppets for Life” tattoos not only stifles creativity, but also forces an “us vs. them” mindset.
Allow for “zoning out time." Brains can’t handle more then a few hours of information before they start to sputter out. Allowing individuals time to play pool, grab coffee, or discuss the latest episode of Game of Thrones shows employees that you respect their need to recharge.
Beer, it’s what’s for lunch. Deciding to allow alcohol is not for every work environment. However if your business can, think of the message it sends. We trust you and believe that you can have fun and work hard—and we want you to. Now, pass the PBR.
Express yourself. Many businesses have moved from cubicles to open concepts to allow for more collaboration. The downside of this model is that individuals are often less expressive in their workspace. Make sure individuals feel free to jazz up their desk... within reason.
Smartphones for everyone! People love gadgets, so loosen up your tech rules. Allowing personal use of technology (that doesn’t violate any ethical or legal rules, of course) says to employees, “We want you to utilize the latest technology to work hard for us—and to watch Keyboard Cat and take selfies."
Encourage activity. Getting your employees active has tons of benefits like reduced absenteeism, reduction of benefit costs and better productivity. Encourage bike to work programs, reimburse gym costs and let employees flex their time to take a Bikram Yoga class. These small accommodations reap huge rewards.
Flex time is the right time. People don’t only do their best work from 9am to 5pm. Allow flexibility in when and how people work. For some jobs, adherence to a schedule is critical, but even for those find ways to allow for flexibility.
Look cool. Make your work environment somewhere people want to be. Are there cozy spots in which to sit and gather; is the lighting good, do people cringe when they see your Thomas Kinkade paintings? Take design seriously, because even if your employees don’t have an eye for color, they know what they hate.
Allow for interactions, and force it if you have to. The Millennial generation has been working in teams ever since they left the pee-wee soccer field, so working collaboratively comes natural to many. If people are not naturally mixing, find ways to make it happen. It may feel forced at first, but eventually they will naturally gather—if only to complain about you forcing them.
Encourage mistakes. It’s been a tough economic road for workers; and because of that, many people may have limited or non-existent work experience. That lack of experience coupled with the desire to make an impression can lead to missteps. Be okay with mistakes, allow for them and celebrate them. A company that doesn’t allow people to take risks or make mistakes becomes stagnant.
Creating an environment that allows for creativity, recognizes individuality and allows for flexibility doesn’t just benefit the young and hip, it makes the work environment better for everyone.
Even the tragically uncool.
How is your organization changing the workspace to accommodate these new employees?
Katie Ausburger is Senior Manager of Employee Experience for XPLANE
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CAMILLE GRIGSBY-ROCCA
Can the brave new world of neurotechnology help an OHSU surgeon find a cure for obesity?
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN
Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger. About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
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Court experience helps legal firm anticipate potential problems for clients and prevent expensive litigation.
When Garmin AT needed to consolidate operations for its 550 employees, it scanned its entire corporate map for possible sites.
The technology industry is always in flux. And this rapid rate of change poses challenges to companies ranging from nimble startups aiming to make their mark to established organizations fighting to remain relevant. This is particularly true in the competitive digital display market, where an Oregon company has been at the forefront of nearly every major breakthrough in the last three decades.
A look back at the shifting sands of Portland’s growth and development.
Robert S. Wiggins has joined Lane Powell as a Shareholder in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group. Wiggins is a well-known lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor with more than 30 years of experience leading and advising established and emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest. Wiggins will focus his practice on offering outside general counsel services, including general corporate and board representation, business transactions and capital events.
DEDICATION PARTY: Help the Port of The Dalles celebrate its newest shovel-ready industrial land Friday, July 31, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.