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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
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY
Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD
Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
By Kim Moore | OB Editor
The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
Monday, August 18, 2014
Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.
Thursday, July 31, 2014
BY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.
|A Taste of Heaven|
|A Good Leap Forward|
|Fast Food Slows Down|
|Startup or Grow Up?|
|Tight and Loose|
Is your business ready to join us in the call for action? This opening panel includes Oregon businesses who will discuss why they signed the Oregon Climate Declaration, the investments they are making to reduce carbon emissions, and how their actions are affecting their companies.
Get ready for two days of special events produced with the EPA, Portland Timbers and ISOS before and after the GoGreen Conference on October 16.
First Call Resolution targets employee well-being and client satisfaction.
How six leading foundations are working together for a better Oregon.
Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
Sussman Shank is proud to announce that eight attorneys have been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2015 edition of Best Lawyers in America, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.
Lane Powell Shareholder William T. Patton has been appointed to the board of directors for Cascade AIDS Project, an organization that provides educational services and outreach to thousands of Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS.