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Millennial CEO for the millennial generation

Posted by Chad O'Connor  February 27, 2014 10:00 AM

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The millennial generation has been making waves ever since entering the workforce. Over the past few years, we've heard both praise and criticism about what this generation means for the corporate setting. But, one thing canít be argued: millennials are rapidly becoming the dominate generation within companies today. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, millennials are predicted to overtake the majority representation of the workforce by 2015. As a business leader, how do you adapt?

As a millennial myself, I have the instinctual generational traits that help me understand the type of environment and motivation that will enable these employees to thrive. As a CEO, I have the opportunity to build a company structure that fosters innovation and leverages those employee strengths, to ultimately position us for growth year after year. Here are some strategies that have been effective in building our corporate culture, which can be applied across any company with a dominant or growing base of millennial workers:

Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
This is a management strategy, better known in our office as ROWE, that values performance, not presence. Employees are free to set their own schedules as long as they meet their deadlines, maintain a high quality of work, and hit their goals. This means that employees are allowed to set their own hours, work remotely, and live their lives the way they want, as long as the work isn't compromised. This management approach is amendable to the millennial generationís value for work-life balance, while also keeping employees accountable.

Meritocracy Rules
Position creative high-performers in roles that challenge them to grow fast. When paired with experienced, best-in-class functional managers, this mixture of employees helps to create a unique and ever-evolving culture. As a young CEO myself, Iím very cognizant of the fact that anyone, regardless of age or job title, has the ability to present a bold idea that can instigate change and disruption. This not only empowers employees to have a voice, which especially appeals to the millennial generation, but keeps them engaged and passionate about making an impact.

Embrace Corporate Wellness
As a health and wellness products company, it makes sense that we are committed to healthy living Ė both at the office and outside of it. However, corporate wellness can drive tremendous benefits at all companies. It's no secret that a healthy lifestyle often translates into better job performance, productivity, and mental sharpness. This can be encouraged by providing employees with the right resources such as subsidized gym memberships and healthy food choices in the office kitchen. Here at NutraClick, we also have a fitness area that employees can use during the day, along with a corporate wellness coach/fitness trainer that is available to help with achieving personal health and fitness goals. It's also not frowned upon if employees want to head to the gym during their lunch break Ė we give everyone the flexibility to exercise when it works best in their schedule.

Open Work Space
As many companies grow either in employee numbers or office space, such as we have at NutraClick, Iíve found itís still important to maintain a strong entrepreneurial spirit and start-up feel. Iím not tucked away in an office behind closed doors, but rather have my desk out on the floor with the rest of our employees here at the Boston office. Itís this open work environment that promotes idea-sharing and collaboration cross-departmentally, which is a culture that the millennial generation thrives in for both creativity and productivity.

As a millennial CEO, Iím very aware that this generation doesn't just represent the future of the business world, but is actively making an impact at all levels of organizations today. For that reason, business leaders need to take the appropriate steps now to understand millennial expectations and implement strategies that will keep these employees happy, engaged, and productive.

Daniel Wallace is CEO and Co-founder of NutraClick.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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