Retaining Millennial talent

As a generational shift takes place in the European workplace, Epson provides advice on changing workplace preferences and behaviours.

Retaining Millennial talent

There is a huge generational shift that is taking place around us in the workplace.

Gen X and Millennial colleagues behaviours and work preferences differ greatly and the key is to making sure both feel comfortable and at home in the office to get the best out of the two radically different groups.

What are the characteristics of different generations?

According to research undertaken in the USA by Ernst and Young, Baby Boomers and Millennials both prioritise non-pay reward types above salary.  Of these, the two generations share four rewards in common, including high-quality colleagues, flexible work arrangements, recognition for a job well done, and opportunities for new work experiences and challenges. Generation X, by contrast, tends to prioritise pay over these alternative rewards.

However, there are big differences between the book-end generations (Boomers and Millennials) when it comes to work style preferences. Millennials prioritise “engaging workplaces” while ranking “quality of meeting rooms” last. They also prefer unplanned, casual, informal meetings and workplaces that are open and convey a residential feel. All of these preferences reflect Millennials desire for collaborative, interactive workplaces that synthesise life and work.

And – you guessed it – oftentimes their managers (baby boomers and generation Xers) express diametrically opposite preferences.

Retaining top Millennial talent requires a new approach

This chasm in behavioural preferences between senior managers and highly-valued new talent joining companies like Epson is a critical concern for all of us. To attract talented Millennials and encourage to their best performance and long-term commitment to your firm requires managers to have the willingness to adapt workplace culture to their needs.

And increasingly these needs can all be met with the help of technology.

Characteristics of the Millennial friendly workspace

Business that are best equipped to attract and retain Millennials have working cultures that support some of the following working preferences:

  • Mobility – enterprises increasingly recognise all workers’ desire for flexible work arrangements, whether this means working at many locations in a single office or off-site. In response, some companies no longer assign permanent workspaces, even to those who are primarily local and on-site. Instead, employees work in the location where it makes the most sense to complete a project or a task before being reassigned.
  • Spontaneous, casual interactions – Millennials prioritise teamwork, and collaboration as the core activity of any team. The need to collaborate with one or several teammates often arises spontaneously. In addition, Millennials prefer casual collaboration to formal meetings.
  • Geographically dispersed workforces – Today, even tiny start-up companies have geographically dispersed employees. This creates the need for workspaces where individuals and small groups of workers can interact with co-workers, managers, customers, and business partners located around the globe.

Introducing the ‘Huddle Room’

Huddle rooms are a fantastic example of the type of workplace adaptation that can facilitate the preferred working behaviours of Millennials and help to significantly enhance their productivity, performance and work satisfaction.

Huddle rooms – while not replacing official meeting rooms – are spaces not necessarily designated by physical boundaries (i.e., four walls), but more-so by a logical concentration of the resources necessary to conduct quick, informal, often unplanned meetings. They are often situated next to lobbies or in open workspaces and furnished in a slightly more homely manner with a table, chairs and perhaps simple shelving, enabling a small working group to gather comfortably and work collaboratively.

Most importantly, however, huddle rooms need to be technologically equipped to support quick, spontaneous and collaborative working sessions with mobile colleagues. Typically this requires network access, telephony, speakers, whiteboards, and screen technologies.

Epson contributes to the collaboration

However, at Epson, we’ve noticed how many of the essential tools required to support Millennial work habits and particularly effective huddle rooms are supported by interactive projectors that transform almost any flat surface into an interactive one for real-time collaboration. It can improve the effectiveness of business meetings and bridge multigenerational work styles by:

  • Providing a whiteboard-style surface for Boomers, with the interactivity Millennials prefer
  • Serving as a versatile video display to improve sharing and long-distance communication
  • Enabling users to view and contribute content locally or remotely from most types of devices
  • Simplifying the ability to capture, save, share, and store meeting notes
  • Improving productivity by supporting different worker preferences for common meeting activities

In a generationally diverse workplace, the value of this kind of collaboration, suited to the working habits of employees of all ages, cannot be overstated: projectors are ideal for huddle rooms because they are compact and work without the need for a computer or software; launching a session and shutdown require the press of a button; the typical tools of the business meeting or brainstorm are all consolidated into a single device; and they promote the discussion and proactivity that the huddle room was developed for.

If you’re looking to bring your employees together, and foster communication, collaboration, and creative communities, an interactive projector belongs in your huddle room. For more information about Epson interactive projectors, visit: