“Nobody likes to be micromanaged”

We talk to the global chief people officer of HubSpot about creating a workplace where millennials have a lot of freedom

“Nobody likes to be micromanaged”

HubSpot are proud to employ a significant number of millennials and provide them with a lot of autonomy to do great work, according to Katie Burke, global chief people officer at HubSpot.

The inbound marketing software solution company was recently ranked in Great Place to Work’s Top 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials which recognises businesses with an innovative workforce and culture.

Burke told HRD that millennials are typically looking for a brand that meets them as candidates.

“This means that, for example, we have done experiments where we have accepted job applications via Snapchat,” she said.

“We also use blogging to share employee stories to engage candidates to learn more about our company.”

Moreover, Burke has found that millennials generally want a lot of autonomy to do great work.

“Nobody likes to be micromanaged, so what we have tried to do is create a workplace where people have a lot of freedom and are allowed to be creative,” she said.

Burke added that millennials have grown up in a time where social media has given them the power to access a huge amount of information that wasn’t previously available.

“So we want to be an employer that leans into that. For example, Glassdoor is a platform where a lot of companies shy away from responding to reviews or encouraging employees to share their opinions,” said Burke.

“We are very active on Glassdoor because we believe that the future will allow employees to share a lot more about what is happening in their organisations, so we want to be ahead of that trend instead of behind it.”

Burke said that she doesn’t think that the vilification of millennials is either justified or productive.

“What I really like about what millennials bring to the workforce is a strong sense of mission and purpose,” she said.

“They don’t care as much about investor returns. They care about making a difference in people’s lives and that’s really important.”

Burke has also found that many millennials care very deeply about diversity and inclusion.

“We have both male and female candidates who ask about our diversity and inclusion as part of the interview process,” she said.

“One of my favourite new trends is we have a lot of young men coming in asking what we are doing for women’s programming. So I think that’s really cool, progressive and exciting.”

Burke added that it's unfair that millennials are often vilified for not being loyal to a company for their entire lives.

“I don’t think that’s the fault of millennials. I think that’s the result of having a lot of choice and transparency in the marketplace," she said.

“My personal opinion is that rather than vilifying millennials we should focus on creating great workplaces that allow everyone to do their best work. Millennials have just been a catalyst to help make that happen.”

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