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Let’s face it: The millennial workforce is a whole new species of employee.

Gone are the die-hard workhorses that will clock in for decades without complaint or compromise. Millennial employees worry about the Big Picture: their quality of life, their health, time with their families, and being treated fairly for their hours and energy.

This isn’t a true first in the workforce, but it is now a majority that demands the attention of small businesses owners.

Employers and Employees Are More Equal Than Ever Before

Since the Depression, the mighty dollar has steered everyone in our society to the point that they would tolerate a lot just to have that paycheck.

In today’s industry, however, you need employees just as much as they need the job you’re offering. Employees have more options than ever and they will walk away if they don’t feel appreciated and taken seriously.

This means a need for compromise and communication in the workplace.

Quality vs. Quantity

The millennial workforce is willing to work hard for you, but they want realistic expectations and a flexible environment. Not every employee needs or wants eight hours to complete whatever tasks they are responsible for. They refuse micro-management or lack of individual attention and evaluation.

Quality employees provide you with better output, improved client relations, and product reviews. The modern worker knows their worth and knows they shouldn’t necessarily have to perform during the daytime, weekdays, or for a set period of time.

If you make a future for them, they will make a place for your company in their future.

Health and Wellness

Millennials in the workplace are far less likely to sacrifice rest and comfort to please you, their employer. They want health insurance that goes above and beyond and allows for more than just traditional options and remedies. Vacation and personal days are mandatory in their expectations of a quality life. They want breaks and comfortable break areas. Many are even looking for company fitness rooms, discounted memberships, or other wellness programs.

This expectation also extends to their families in corporate environments. The joint expectation and desired outcome is that healthier employees are efficient and energetic, requiring fewer sick days and actually using their health insurance less. In the long run, employees last longer and make long-term commitments to your company, your goals and your expectations.

Personal Time

Employment is no longer the most important aspect in the lives of millennial workers. Children and spouses and holiday dinners now take priority over seminars and deadlines. No amount of overtime is worth relinquishing their weekends running marathons or their evenings at book club. Requiring their spare time is simply not accepted as it once was.

There is a new awareness in our society about the benefits of relaxation and physical activity outside of work that results in better employees in the long-term, less turnover, and lower costs.

Fair Wages and Working Conditions

Obviously our labor laws have come a long way since a time when people were basically abused at work, but even basic safe conditions have come under scrutiny.

Millennials in the workplace are not interested in just the bare essentials. They want comfort and cool air, chairs that don’t strain their back and floors that don’t hurt their feet. You might have to consider specialized footwear and office equipment depending on your industry.

In some cases, you may consider major building renovations if you want to stay competitive.

It isn’t all a one-sided playing field with you making all the concessions. The employees worth all of this investment are top-notch. Their commitment to better work in less time, fewer mistakes, and ultimate loyalty are their currency to bargain with. Watch your relationship evolve to a true team environment where everyone has the same risk, the same losses, and the same potential for gain.