mixed-age team

6 Kickstart tips for organizing the work of a mixed-age team

The Russian office of JUUL Labs has 80 employees of different ages, representing approximately equally different generations – X, Y and Z. The company entered the Russian market a little over a year ago, and the team formed very quickly – from six people at the start of business in Russia to over 80 in just a year. How to combine them under one roof and rally the team?

1. Schedule that can be customized for mixed-age team

In a company where representatives of different generations work, it is important to take into account the interests of each group and provide the opportunity to build an individual schedule that employees can adjust in accordance with their personal plans.

All employees are equipped with laptops, smartphones, and devices that allow you to stay in touch remotely. We conduct internal conferences through Zoom, which can be connected from anywhere with Wi-Fi. Thanks to this, you can work from home without wasting time on the road to work.

Today, for employees of generations Y and Z, it is especially important not just the balance of work and personal life – the so-called work-life balance, but the ability to integrate work into your life so that it does not violate the harmony of personal life – we call it life-life balance.

2. Office convenient for everyone

Opening a new office in Moscow, we thought about employees who are constantly in the office, and about those who spend most of their work time outside the office, at meetings with clients and presentations. For those who care about having a permanent workplace, we provide comfortable office space.

In addition to standard workplaces and recreation areas, the office has a special area where project teams join for temporary work or employees who usually work “in the fields” or work remotely may come to work. For each of them at work there is a locker. We have allocated personal space for each employee, as well as several places for workshops and informal communication.

Also, the office must take into account places for working meetings and informal communication. For example, phon-box rooms for one or two people, where you can talk on the phone for work or personal purposes, without interfering with other colleagues. Employees can choose a place to work in accordance with the nature of the task that needs to be solved, or according to their mood. 

It’s more convenient for someone to retire to the phonebox for creative searches, for someone – to settle down in the zone of a temporary workplace. Members of cross-functional teams gather there to brainstorm if necessary. For those who want to change clothes in the office, there are two dressing rooms and several areas for relaxation and informal communication between colleagues.

3. At work at home

Coming to work in a modern office, employees can expect the same level of comfort as when working from home. Every day we order fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy products at the office to support our colleagues in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. In addition, the office should have dried fruits, nuts, granola, cookies, coffee, milk and tea for those who wish to have a snack during the working day. Employees determine the time for snacks and lunches themselves.

As internal polls show, the ability to take a break from work – to relax, switch, pour a cup of tea and take, for example, cookies or dates – these are important little things for emotional comfort and good mood. This does not require large expenditures – on average we are talking about the amount of 1000 rubles per employee per month, but it contributes to the growth of team involvement in the work.

4. Coworking – not an option

Despite the demand for such an option as the ability to work from home, we made sure: for employees of a new generation, the office is still as important. At the initial stage of work in the Russian market, we used coworking. But a study of engagement at the end of 2018 showed that, regardless of age, employees were unhappy with the lack of a permanent workspace. The more experienced and those who are just starting their careers were equally happy to move to a new office in Moscow.

5. More often ask for the opinion of employees

In a growing organization, especially if the business is just starting to grow in a new market, corporate culture is crucial. Therefore, we measure employee engagement twice a year using the Glint methodology and platform, paying particular attention to questions about the mission and values ​​of the company, and what can help improve the working environment.

Each manager with a team of more than five people receives the results of an anonymous survey of the involvement of his team, holds meetings with employees and jointly develops a plan to improve the working environment based on the results of the survey. These engagement studies show that more than 90% of employees are satisfied with their work and are ready to recommend us as a great company. This is a good result – on average in Russia, according to Gallup, the level of staff involvement does not exceed 19%.

6. Dressing as comfortable

We are very loyal to the dress code in the company. We will not be embarrassed if the candidate comes for an interview with multi-colored hair if he turns out to be a professional who loves his job and is focused on the result.

The principle of meeting applicants “for clothes” is gradually becoming a thing of the past, but still plays an important role for many Russian employers. According to a recent study, most recruiters (71%) pay attention, first of all, to the appearance of the candidate, while only half (53%) pay attention to matching the resume with the real skills of the applicant. We do not dictate to employees what to go to work for, the main thing is to be comfortable.

Six tips

  1. Provide employees with a flexible work schedule so that they can tailor it to their plans.
  2. Provide multi-functional areas and recreation areas in the office so that employees with different types of activities can find a place to work, put personal items and take a break.
  3. Fresh fruits and healthy snacks increase the mood and performance of employees.
  4. No coworking can replace an office – a permanent place where the whole team meets.
  5. Listen to the opinions of your employees and decide together how to improve your work environment.
  6. Do not enter a dress code if it is not necessary.