Most companies are owned by older folks or people who are focused on work. But, to attract the younger crowd these days, you need to focus on what they want. Millennials expect a lot from their job and from their boss to the point that it might seem like you are working for them and not the other way around. In addition to salary, they want a positive social atmosphere, fun, and they want to grow their skillsets and develop in a way that will enhance their future career. Many are willing to sacrifice salary if they feel that growth is a possibility.
The point here is that the boss of such a company has to think not only of the most efficient way of getting work done, but how to create jobs that will provide satisfaction and evolution to their younger (and demanding) counterparts.
India’s work culture
In India, the traditional cultural model for the workplace is to have some older guy who is an ogre who is very harsh and critical towards workers. The workers who like the boss tend to huddle around him as they feel insecure without the stability of a superior thinker and leader around. The millennials or younger generation in India (and America), but especially India in the tech sector hops from job to job faster than you can say aloo-gobhi-paratha. In real life, to have any meaningful work relationship that grows into something you need to stick to the job for at least four years, not four months. It takes a year just to develop trust in an employee enough to trust them to do any meaningful and critical tasks.
Designing a dream job
If it were me designing the perfect job, I would make the worker pay their dues for a year doing work that is not fun to prove themselves. People jump boat so fast, that why should you invest in their comfort when they are not even going to be there. But, having a guaranteed fun job after twelve months is enough to entice a serious employee to stay. They will see the others who stuck around having fun doing all types of tasks. Even if you cannot have someone do meaningful work forty hours a week, they could do 10-15 hours a week so they could feel they were growing. You could have them do innovation, manage others, and more tasks that might make them feel important.
Does fun just happen spontaneously, or do the proper conditions need to be met? For me, fun happens when I am doing fun things with fun people. Fun is also unexpected, and you never know when you will find a task to be interesting or get a good laugh. Sometimes you need to throw in some unexpected or unusual activities in your day to increase your chance of having fun. Many call centers have regular contests, outings, and activities to boost the fun quotient.
Hire fun workers even if they are not good workers
My recommendation for having a fun work environment is to hire a certain percentage of people who are fun, even if they are not as good workers as you might desire, they will boost the spirits of the others. In China, they hire pretty girls to play ping-pong and talk to their male workers just to make them feel better. The girls can’t do any type of “real work,” but they do raise morale. It might be more efficient to hire people with desirable social (or physical) traits who are also capable of doing something productive even if they are a little less productive than the others. Or, you could have all workers be somewhat fun — with some being more fun than the others. How many fun people to have is up to you, but my only definitive piece of advice is to avoid people who are dampers to people’s enthusiasm or those who are hostile to others with little or no provocation as they will ruin the mood of your company really fast.
Don’t ruin the “fun”
Another easier way to have fun lies deep in the mystery of the Chinese culture. In China, fun is a type of noodle typically made from rice or mung beans. Fun is often a wide type of noodle which I enjoy eating. If you don’t know what to have for lunch at your company, try a group lunch where you eat fun — after all, you are what you eat. Unless you pronounce it the way they do in “other” (non-Cantonese) dialects in which it might be called “fen” which would ruin the “fun.”