By Peter Cohan
The young workforce can infuse your office with energy, but come with unique risks.
Millennials are invigorating the workforce with their youthful energy. If you run a fast-growing startup full of them, though, there are two unique risks that you absolutely must manage: quick turnover and rebellion against bureaucracy. If you don't, you will lose control of your business.
I discussed these hiring and management challenges with Tom Erickson, CEO of the software company Acquia. The firm has more than 450 people and generated $68 million in revenue last year. Here are his tips for eliminating the risk and working with Millennials.
1. Create a relaxed work environment.
How does Acquia do it? Erickson: "We create a work environment that feels conducive to people in their mid-20s. There are places for recreation, beer on tap, and no vacation policy. We respect that they will get their work done and will be checking their email and mobiles 24-7. If they need to take a break, they can do it. It gives them some sort of balance."
2. Make the executive team accessible to employees.
Acquia also makes sure that its staff can get access to key people in the organization. "To create a collaborative environment, we keep the organization chart as flat as possible," he says.