13 February 2018,

Millennials: Creating a company culture for the next generation


With Millennials, how do you attract, and keep, star employees in your auction business?

By Emma Dougherty, NAA Content Developer

Promoting an inviting company culture for the next generation is vital to the success of a company. So, when we talk about a fast-growing portion of the workforce, a culture that fosters growth and a positive work environment appeals to Millennials.

Many companies are hesitant and struggle with the transition to this new style of working. However, it is important that the attitude that a company adopts caters to the next generation’s needs as well as the business’ own.

Joe Relsick, of Proxibid, explains there are three key points of understanding to creating winning culture. Relsick says you have to understand why culture matters, understand how Millennials are a different type of hire, and understand how to create and maintain a winning culture. Let’s look at each.

Millennials: Why culture matters

To achieve extraordinary things, a company needs extraordinary people. The only way to get these kinds of people is to provide an encouraging and creative culture that pushes individuals to exceed expectations.

“Culture is the values, norms, systems and habits that a company adopts,” Relsick says. “This attitude is projected in everything the company does and is highly valued by millennials.”

Millennials: A different kind of hire

Most new hires will be Millennials, and they will be the ones carrying businesses forward. However, this generation approaches things differently. Important things to understand about Millennials are:

– Millennials are highly educated; 34 percent have a bachelors degree of higher.
– They came of age in a time of economic expansion.
– Millennials are highly influenced by digital media.
– They don’t believe in being shackled to tradition, they like to find new and innovative ways of achieving their goals.
– Millennials are not big on in-person communication, they would much rather text or email.
– They value knowledge and experience, and believe in learning from other’s experiences.
– Millennials believe in life, not a work-life balance. They appreciate being able to work late from home if it is more convenient for them.

Millennials want to be managed differently than previous generations. They need to be motivated and feel that the work they do is meaningful and challenging.

“They work for a purpose, not a paycheck, and prefer jobs that are emotionally and mentally satisfying over monetary value,” Relsick says.

While they need to feel that their values are respected, they also crave feedback and want to know how to progress to the next step in their career. The value and utilize access to tools and services that will help them succeed in this.

Millennials: Creating and maintaining a winning culture

The next generation is motivated to work in environments that promote teamwork.

Collaborative environments and access to management is key to driving millennials to excellence. Bright, modern and open work spaces, and open doors give them a sense of equality and access that encourages advancement.

It is important to the next generation that no one person is more important than the group. No hierarchical expression such as special offices or parking creates a sense of equality and confidence among lower level employees.

The company needs a present leader that can connect with their team and encourage them rather than let them think they have let the team down.

“Being present leader means that you’re actually in the moment,” Relsick said. “[It means] you are fulfilling and engaging with the issues, you’re actually connecting with your employees – all the good times, bad times, joys, sadness’s – and that you’re in a position, basically, that you are there and understand what’s going on right now.”

This article was an excerpt from a presentation given at the 2016 NAA International Auctioneers Conference and Show. Want even more tips regarding this topic? NAA members can access the full audio of this presentation and many others in the NAA Knowledge Center.