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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
Friday, September 19, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
How can you tell if you, a peer, a subordinate or a job candidate has the emotional intelligence needed to do well?
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Oregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
September's Launch article features Orchid Health, BuddyUp and Inter-Europe Consulting.
Monday, September 29, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Wehby disappears, Kitzhaber fails to disclose and Seattle gets bike share before Portland.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with leading partners at law firms in Portland and eastern Oregon, followed by October's powerlist.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
BY JONATHAN FROCHTZWAJG
A flare-up in the Elliott Forest raises questions about détente in Oregon’s timber wars.
|The 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon 2014|
|A Recipe for Success|
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.
Finding a health insurance plan that makes both financial sense for the bottom line and provides choice for plan participants is a huge challenge for employers.
The right financing at the right time is critical for small businesses to succeed.
Among Oregon universities, Oregon Tech is special in the way it incorporates applied research into the curricula of every department.
More than 400 "Change Makers" will gather to invest in a socially sustainable community.