Millennials changing company culture in Valley

Posted at 6:24 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 23:41:01-04

Work isn't supposed to be fun.  You've heard that before right?

Don't tell millennials that.  They'll beg to differ.

"I'm pretty spoiled by it," Skyler Scott, account executive for The Knight Agency, smiled.

Scott works at Optima Sonoran Village in Scottsdale, a residential and commercial complex.  It has a pool, pool table, ping pong table, Pilates studio and gym.  They are amenities Scott uses...while on the clock.

"I spend a lot of my time at work, so it's nice to have a gym downstairs, it's nice to have the racquetball court, basketball court, a pool here," she said.

Perks like this are the norm for several companies in the Valley.

Erica Knight, co-owner of The Knight Agency, said what may seem like distractions are actually motivating and the millennial generation demands them.

"You kind of have to get on board with it or you're going to lose that employee pool," Knight said.

You can say Knight got on board, and aboard.  She and the staff take a monthly private jet trip, a perk that she said improves morale.

A Pew study finds millennials, defined as those born between 1980 and 1997, make up the lion's share of the workforce with 53.5 million.  Human resource experts say managers are wise to give them perks -- like the ability to work from home.

"The mindset is someone sitting home in their pajamas and watching Jerry Springer," said Anne Caldewell, Human resources consultant with National PEO, an employment agency.  "The truth is productivity almost always increases with telecommuting."

Co-founder of Stream Logistics, Carson Holmquist, tries to create a live-work-play company culture also. 
He makes sure the cabinets at work are stocked with snacks and energy drinks.   

"We know when employees are happy and they have flexibility and have fun then they're going to want to come to work," Holmquist said.

But Holmquist said it's not all about providing perks.  Simple recognition also goes a long way.

"We create a work environment where their results are recognized and rewarded, but also millennials like the team atmosphere as well, so we relate that to how their personal achievements coincide with our goals," he said.

Caldewell said it's not a "one size fits all" scenario, but a little effort will go a long way into keeping talent.

"You figure out what motivates people and you provide that. The end result is worth it because it's a strategic win," Caldewell said.