To Retain Millennial Employees Workplaces Need to Support Mentorship

According to Shane Katsoolis, the Design Director for IA Interior Architects, workplaces need to engage both managers and workers.

IA Interior Architects Workplace Design
Applied Predictive Technologies’ offices in Arlington, VA. Courtesy Thomas McConnell/IA Interior Architects

This is the fifth installment of Metropolis’ new video series, The Slant. Each segment features designers, stakeholders, and end-users weighing in on innovative research, dynamic trends, and thought-provoking ideas that promise to change the way we shape and inhabit buildings.

According to a 2016 Gallup poll, less than one-third of millennial employees are actively “engaged” with their jobs—a term the research group defined as “emotionally and psychologically attached to their work and workplace.” The Gallup study also found that only half of millennial workers plan to be at their current job in a year’s time and that six in ten are open to other work opportunities, making it one of the least engaged workforces in generations.

Though Gallup called these findings “troubling,” it said millennial needs are not that different from previous generations of employees; the main way to address the issue of engagement is to simply better understand and support the way in which millennials work.

This is a key concern for Shane Katsoolis, the former design director of the global interiors firm IA Interior Architects. The firm—whose portfolio includes offices for LinkedIn, Bacardi, Mercedes-Benz, and many other companies—is focusing on how spaces can facilitate mentoring by getting “managers out of the offices into the workplace and into a collaborative environment,” says Katsoolis. This includes designing commons areas and making workplaces flexible so that office environments can adapt on a project-to-project basis.

“We look at workplace very much as a tool for employees to do their job,” Katsoolis said. “When we support the company’s purpose [through design] it allows for potential employees to align their own personal goals in life with the goals of the company.”

Watch the interview below.

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