Looking for a fun event to have at your company this year? How about offering your employees a chance to bring their parents to work. That’s what Amazon.com recently did. And, as reported by a local TV station, everyone seemed to have a blast.
Millennials – defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34 – now make up more than half of the U.S. workforce. And as tough as they’d like us to think they are we all know they’re still young at heart. I always hear of the challenges faced by small businesses looking to attract and maintain good people from this generation. So here’s one good idea: what could make an employee more appreciative of where she works than by impressing her parents?
In a twist of the decades-old “bring your son/daughter to work” day that has been popular for thousands of companies, Amazon opened up its doors to the parents of its employees last week. And it turned out to be a hit. More than 5,000 parents attended the event at its Seattle-area headquarters, some from as far away as China and India. Mom and dad got the chance to explore special exhibits, listen to speakers, have a bite of lunch, ask questions about their child’s workday and, of course, check out all the latest company initiatives, from drone-delivery to warehouse robotics. (Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)
“The inside joke was that maybe (our employees) would clean up their desks a little bit, because mom and dad were coming to work,” said Ardine Williams, a vice president for talent acquisition at the company. Williams’ father seemed to have a good time – but was hard-pressed to explain his own daughter’s job there. “She’s vice president of some wizardry. . .I don’t know,” he admitted when asked by an editor at GeekWire.
I’m not sure how many, in the end, got a chance to see the tidiness of their kids’ desks. But I’m sure of this: a “bring your parent to work day” is a great idea for keeping those millennial employees happy at work. . .and impressing their parents too.
(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Gene Marks