From ice addicts through to people who are unfortunately suffering mental health issues, or even those who just get itchy feet - often... employees can be tricky. Regardless of their station, it is important to see the world from their point of view, as without them no business survives. It's like the chicken and the egg. 
How to adapt to the changing employee

While I smile to myself at how much technology, and in particular robotics and artificial intelligence will impact the number of jobs in marketing, I am acutely aware that nothing replaces human contact and collaboration.

I've aged. I often shake my head at the way the world is changing, and sometimes I am not changing fast enough with it.

Old-fashion, but modern

As an old-fashion boss in some ways; I cook meals for my team in Melbourne each week if I am there, and even give them a hug if they need it... it's the adaptation to the ever changing, completely unexpected motivators in the new breed of employee coming through that really is challenging. I do believe that the younger generation are the leaders of today, and not tomorrow, and while once in my day of working for someone else, it was all in the employers court, it now is firmly placed in the millennial centre court, and we have to work out how to play, and ensure that they are always winning the game.

Challenges across the board

My challenges are not my own. They exist for most companies and so much has been written online about millennials and how hard it is to work them out. I finally have come to the realisation that except for the need for drug testing, we need to work out ways to accomodate mental health issues even though by law it cannot be talked about, just by seeing the signs, and bring in new ways in which employees can live fulfilling careers and change if they want to without affecting the company that they leave.

The ball is in their court, and at some stage the old guard will die off, and this new breed will re-define how business is done, if they have not already done so at a level that is sustainable.

Things we know for sure:

Change is constant, adapt or die

The workplace has to change constantly, and in some way adopt new ways in which to keep employees interested. Yes, we have home cooked lunches, endless holidays after one year, and a 7 hour billable day for consultants, but there are other things that need to occur to ensure that they are happy, healthy and committed. We have a revolving manager program as we haven't had a CEO/Manager for more than 6 years. This means that each team member becomes the manager for the week, responsible for all outcomes, performance and feedback to employees.

Stand up and be counted

We have standup meeting where people share how they feel, and things about themselves that no-one knows so that they get to understand themselves better. 

Mostly everyone in our offices is kind and considerate. We all pull our weight and genuinely care about each other. They are interviewing new staff for our growing business, and millennial turnover, and all of a sudden they have become more protective and harder on candidates. It is very much about company culture, but also having each other's back. If someone has something to bring to the table they are interested. If it is going to be a one-way street where they teach the new candidate everything, they are less inclined to hire them. 

Values are everything

I like these changes, and know that it is the people behind Marketing Eye that will steer our new direction and reinforce our values of honesty, kindness, care, integrity and commitment.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye


  • Corinna

    I totally agree with you that nothing can replace human contact and collaboration. It seems to me that your team has a great working culture and that they see each other as part of the family. Moreover, it is obvious that you care about each other and in my opinion this is exactly the way how a team should work.

  • Ryan Janes
    Ryan Janes

    I found your views on the employees you are responsible for, refreshing. In the rapidly changing digital age we live in today, it is frighteningly easy to forget about the importants of human interaction in every type of workplace. Even something as simple as knowing what your employees have going on in their everyday lives can have a hugely positive affect on the culture of a company, and the effectiveness of each individual employee.

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