The Care and Keeping of Your Office Millennial
Many of us have a millennial or three somewhere in our office, but interacting with them is a big, sometimes scary responsibility.
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Everyone wants at least one millennial in their office. They work hard, are fairly cheap to maintain, and generally have a reasonably firm grasp of online media marketing. It’s also a show of a company’s youth to have a few highly visible millennials about the floor when clients are visiting.
But daily upkeep and caring for your office’s millennial can be a bit intimidating: they seemingly have very little in common with regular employees and communicating with them can feel a bit insurmountable at times. With proper training and some simple amenities, however, you’ll find keeping millennials is no more difficult than any other type of office pet.
Access to Food and Water
While most workers take basic sustenance for granted, millennials in general are greatly appreciative of even meager unexpected nutrition. While an ordinary vending machine is enough to keep your millennial adequately nourished, you’ll be surprised how positively they respond to perceived “free” additions like a box of donuts one morning or homemade muffins/banana bread/etc. every so often. It seems silly, I know, but costless calories are a source of much joy for millennials, and their increased energy and positivity will yield an excellent cost/benefit result for your company.
Shelter (Otherwise known as a “Safe” Space)
Much as canines need a den, your millennial needs a place they can feel is their own, which they can retreat to in times of stress. While they certainly don’t have the same office space requirements as your average executive, consider allocating an extra cubicle for their needs. Encourage your millennial to customize or decorate it as they choose (within reasonable standards, of course). This will allow your millennial to feel comfortable and increase their productivity. Avoid, if at all possible, cubicle sharing or the dreaded “Intern Desk” as this inhibits your millennial’s sense of individuality.
In the same vein, make an effort to use your millennial’s name. (Likewise refrain from diminutives, pet names, and generic labels like “Pal,” “Kiddo,” or “Heeeyyyyy” followed by a long, grasping but fruitless stare.) Whether they are a permanent or temporary adoption in your office, this will make your millennial feel welcomed. Attempt to talk to your millennial in the same tone and on the same general topics as your non-millennial officemates. This will not only deepen your millennial’s sense of belonging, but will convince them that you don’t think any differently of them than you would a normal human being.
Maslow and Pavlov agree: Praise good work. Give your millennial real, important tasks so that they feel they are contributing to the wellbeing of the organization. Give your millennial freedom (within reason) in how they are permitted to execute their tasks. This can be as simple as creative control over a project’s name, the password to the company’s Twitter account, or one of those wacky computer chairs with a big ball where the cushion should be. The important thing is that your millennial believe they are being thoughtfully consulted, considered, and lauded for their positive contributions.
Hey, if they can check Twitter from the bathroom, they can also receive emails. Win-win.
The above is a work of satire by Dave Zucker, who is very much a millennial. We promise.