How to Create a Company Culture That Matters to Millennials

“Millennials don’t just want a job and a paycheck,” according to entrepreneur Piyush Patel.

As younger generations enter the workforce, the concept of creating an appealing company culture is growing more important.

In the forthcoming book Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating a Culture That Matters, entrepreneur Piyush Patel suggests paying close attention to the top of psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs — in which self-actualization, esteem, and love/belonging are ranked first through third — to create a company culture that provides a sense of belonging, affirmation, and meaning.

Belonging “We’re hardwired to belong to groups. We want to belong to a tribe, something greater than ourselves,” Patel writes. “One of the greatest ways to build a sense of belonging is through shared experiences and the memories those create. So, facilitate this for your tribe by providing those opportunities for your employees.” A few recommendations? Create a lunchtime tradition like “Thai Thursday,” or provide team jerseys for employees.

Affirmation “We want to be individually recognized and appreciated in a way that means something to us,” Patel writes. “While any kind of affirmation is great, [Digital-Tutors, a company founded by Patel] started seeing exponential results when we focused on making sure that every person received the kind of appreciation that super-charged them.” Depending on the employee, this could mean giving a verbal “thank-you,” offering a congratulatory handshake, or meeting him or her for lunch.

Meaning “Millennials don’t just want a job and a paycheck,” Patel writes. “Millennials want to change the world and have their work mean something.” By sharing stories and testimonials of how a company improved someone’s life — even in a small way — employees will feel as though their contributions are making a difference in the world.

Casey Gale

Casey Gale is associate editor of Convene.