The workforce is getting younger, with more Millennials joining the corporate world. In the United States, the Millennials or adults between the ages of 18 and 34 years old have surpassed the members of the Generation X as the biggest segment in the American workforce according to the Pew Research Center.
Companies thus have to adapt to the changing times by adjusting the business processes. In the field of corporate communications, internal communicators should be practical enough tap more modern office communication software to be able to reach the younger workers.
Several studies, however, suggest that many companies overlook the need to adapt to the changing times. One research conducted among 4,000 employees in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, and France, showed that only 28 percent of employees are being encouraged to use video at work for communication. Moreover, it noted that only one out of seven employers provide communication tools in their offices that are similar to the programs or apps that employees use in their residences.
The study, commissioned by an international provider of videoconferencing services, indicates that many companies are still reluctant to give their employees access to modern office communication software.
Gone are the days when communication in the workplace involved email, group meetings, and telephone. In today’s fast-paced work environment, Millennials prefer to use more modern office communication software such as:
Chat rooms/private messaging
Chat room, private and group messaging are designed to help teams work well, even if the members are not present in one physical location. With this office communication software, members and team leaders can update each other on their projects. It also allows fast and convenient sharing of files and information.
Some of the more popular and recognizable messaging tools that are now used in the corporate world are Skype and Slack.
An internal blog can be a good channel for employees to share information and knowledge with each other. As the name suggests, an internal blog is something that external shareholders like clients and funding partners will not be able to access. Instead, it is only available to employees who can converge online but in a less formal fashion. They can share ideas and information in an internal blog.
There are many things that employees can do in sharing information on an internal blog. They can create videos where a staff shares knowledge about a certain area or topic in the organization. They can also take part in open discussions, or collaborate with each other in a virtual environment.
An internal blog also works like a corporate intranet by connecting employees across departments, and keeping the staff updated on important information and company updates.
Podcasts are audio files that team members can stream or download for listening in the future. People usually listen to podcasts on laptops and computers, but they can also do so on mobile. More and more companies are realizing how podcasts can be tapped in reaching the workforce, with leaders like CEOs sharing their messages through podcasts. Information on employee assistance programs and new IT processes, for example, can be thoroughly disseminated through this medium.
Email may be preferred by many older workers, but it has limitations that can be adequately addressed by desktop alerts. One is that an employee may not be able to read an important email message especially if the inbox is full. However, the said message can be immediately seen if relayed through a desktop alert.
Second, desktop alerts can be configured to appear on the screens of employees at certain times of the day. Event reminders, for example, are best communicated through desktop alerts than email.
These are some of the office communication software that companies today should start tapping in their respective workplaces.