Are we tired of hearing about Millennials and catering to their demands? Probably. But, because they make up 34% of the US workforce, we need to pay them mind. This generation is made of ‘digital natives’ – people who confidently take advantage of new tech like cloud-based apps and VOIP phone systems. They bring a new perspective to how organizations should operate, and as they begin to climb the ranks in management, these changes are a force we need to adapt to.
“Millennials grew up with computers, the Internet and the graphical user interface (GUI). This familiarity makes them adept at understanding interfaces and visual languages. They tend to adjust readily to new programs, operating systems (OS ) and devices and to perform computer-based tasks more quickly than older generations. Although it’s been proven that multitasking is not usually an effective way to work, Millennials may be the employees that are most likely to pull it off.” (TechTarget)
This generation recognizes that the tools exist to work at peak efficiency and maximum productivity, which is the very essence of a Unified Communications strategy. They place tremendous value on the work-life balance and as such, demand flexible scheduling and a mobile work access, but are willing to work harder since it’s on their terms. They are the catalyst for the BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) workplace.
Millennials have a powerful presence in social media, and as such, if they find their employer to be a champion for their idea of best practices in a work environment, they will spread the word and become a promoter for your company.
The flip side of that coin is companies that resist adapting a UC approach and require the 9 to 5 in the cubical will see tremendous turnover. Millennials expect an environment of collaboration, not the traditional ladder climbing hierarchy. They will not stay at a job that makes them miserable or “holds them down”. There is no desire to earn the gold watch twenty years down the road. They believe opportunities are out there for the taking and in a gig economy, there is less compulsion to stick with a job that is infringing upon your life’s happiness.
Scott Hoffpauir, CTO and cofounder of US communications service provider Broadsoft, told a press conference in Mexico City that “young professionals seek different user experiences in communication platforms in the workplace. Millennials demand platforms that allow them to work from mobile devices, that integrate multiple applications, and systems that support remote work. In addition, this generation favors messaging over voice, which is why developers must focus on messaging systems in enterprise resource planning systems.”
Are we then to believe that we must adapt these new technologies just because they say so? Absolutely not. But, the business world is heading in the direction regardless. As communication technologies improve, we are seeing increased scalability, redundancy, security, and mobility which, in turn, increases your productivity and profit. As a bonus, you become more appealing to a generation of workers that are going to be running the place soon enough.