Millennials make up a sizeable percentage of the working population. They’re also more influential and energized than just about any generation in the workplace right now. What that means for the owners and managers of companies is that, if they want to position their work culture to attract talent, and if they want to boost existing morale, they need to appeal to millennials.
There are certain job characteristics that millennial employees tend to value across the board, like unconventional approaches, social purpose and team-orientation. If you want to appeal to a millennial employee – whether prospective or existing – you have to keep these characteristics in mind.
A good place to start is the company holiday party. The company holiday party has always been a ripe opportunity for a company to present what kind of work culture it wants. Do you want your work culture to appear traditional, stiff and buttoned up? Then give everyone a single drink token, make everyone dress up, sit through speeches and attend a three-course meal.
But if you want your work culture to appear modern, fun and socially conscious, you’ll have to try a little harder. Here are a few tips for throwing a company party that appeals to millennials.
Despite What You’ve Heard, Don’t Go Full “Ironic”
The “ugly sweater party” may have worked at some point in the not-so-distant past, but its on-the-nose sense of irony is starting to wear thin with a lot of millennial workers. The same goes for adult colouring books and Mason jar wine glasses. There’s no need to make the party too precious or wink-y – just book an exciting activity and make it a good time.
Ditch the Conventional “Speech and Meal” Party
Instead of the traditional “speech and meal” holiday party, plan the party around an activity that’s fresh and engaging. One of the most popular corporate party ideas right now is axe throwing, which makes perfect sense; the new sport is engaging, fresh and team-oriented, a mixture of things millennials love. It may take some booking in advance, but you can click here to learn more about how to procure an unconventional party spot.
Incorporate a Social Purpose
“Social purpose” is this idea that the workplace should also work to further some kind of social good. It’s an incredibly important characteristic to millennials, who are often willing to take less money at a job if they believe the work has some social good. To signal social purpose, do something charitable. It could be as simple as announcing a donation to a local charity, or you could ask each employee to bring a donation item as their “entrance” ticket to the event.
Give Them Opportunities to Share Their Experience
The great thing about an activity like axe throwing is that it naturally encourages people to take (and share) pictures. Millennials love to document events, especially when they’re out of the ordinary. To ensure that those pictures work for your company, consider creating a company party hash tag, or even setting up a photo area. When your company is widely, positively documented like that, it helps boost your cultural cache, which can help attract millennial talent.
Throwing a great party is about more than just celebrating the holidays (though that’s the main reason). It’s also about showing off what kind of company you can be. To market yourself as a modern work culture, throw a modern holiday party!