Communicating with Millennials in Today’s Workplace

Anton Vdovin - Sep 21, 2017 8:11:58 AM

For the typical millennial, digital communication is second nature to and is as vital as air. Millennials grew up using computers, mobile phones and tablets; therefore, they are part of a group that yearns for instantaneous communication and interaction. Whether they utilize social media websites, instant messaging apps, mobile alert systems, or even email, they are the group that expects “immediate gratification”, seeing more traditional modes of communication as slow and tedious.

Now that millennials are joining the workplace, they have expectations and experiences that vastly differ from older workers. They also find older systems and methods of communication as lacking the modern touch. But while millennials are used to the latest technology and means of communication, organizations may find it challenging to immediately get on board with these new employees’ methods of communication. The change is now leading organization to spend a considerable amount of time deciphering which communication efforts are most appropriate for their business and for their much younger and more technologically savvy workforce.

Technology and Employee Engagement 

While modern communication tools such as mobile alert systems, SMS, and desktop wallpapers might not be the top priority of your organization, you might be surprised how it might actually affect how engaged millennials are and how much they would want to stay and work for you.

In a survey conducted by Microsoft and SurveyMonkey, out of the 1,000 millennials in the United States, 93 percent stated that up-to-date technological tools in the workplace are some of the most important aspects of a business.

Also, a report developed by Nimble Storage and Oxford Economics found that millennials believe that “sub-optimal application performance” affects their productivity and prevents them from being able to perform at their best. From the same report, half of millennials opted to cease using programs and applications which ran too slowly.

These statistics are now making organizations and leaders realize the importance of going digital in order to achieve business success. When the new workforce attributes their optimal performance, productivity and engagement to up-to-date communication and technological tools, organizations just don’t seem to have a choice in the matter if they want to succeed.

The Notion of “One Size Fits All” 

While studies show that millennials require digital communication in the workplace, there is not one technological tool that should be implemented above all others. Employees actually prefer using multiple tools, such as mobile alert systems, email, SMS, group chats, the intranet, and others. They do not depend on one mode of communication only. This allows them to choose which channel or platform they find more convenient and that they feel more comfortable using. A multitude of communication strategies and tools should be utilized in order to support the objectives of the organization.

One thing important to note as well is that millennials expect technology to change and evolve. In as much as they are comfortable with the current technology they are using such as mobile alert systems, email, and instant messaging apps, millennials expect communication tools to grow and they are ready and able to adapt with this evolution. While it is smart to take on technology that can be expanded in the future, remember that it is not always wise to keep on dropping old communication methods and tools constantly. Make sure to constantly focus on tools that make sense for your organization and workforce.

Also, while millennials adapt well to technology, do not assume that immediately that they will take on new tools with ease right away. In as much as older workers need support, make sure to provide the training and guidance they require.

Topics: Internal Communication Best Practices


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