Millennials are officially the largest generation in the US workforce. In a 2015 study of Pew Research, it was revealed that there are now more than 53.5 million workers who were born from 1981 to 1997. On the other hand the number of Baby Boomers is now on the decline as more of them are retiring. Naturally, more Millennials will be joining the workforce as the years pass.
This trend will have an effect on business operations and practices, such as internal communication. Surprisingly, polls have shown that Millennials aren’t exactly engaged with their work. One Gallup poll showed that only 28. 9 percent of Millennials are engaged at work. This poses a challenge to business communicators, as internal communication and employee engagement are often intertwined with each other.
Communicators will have their hands full in developing and implementing an internal communication strategy in a company that is teeming with Millennials. Here are some tips that can help in crafting an internal communication strategy that would prove effective in connecting with young workers:
1. Tap newer communication platforms
If you are to get the attention of the Millennials, one of the most crucial steps is the communication platform you will tap. Younger workers aren’t receptive when leadership taps traditional communication tools like email or newsletters. They’re more likely to respond when management uses newer communication platforms.
Here’s one example. Adidas once had an internal communication campaign after an employee survey showed that employees felt management was not listening to them. So its internal communications team put together a campaign that involved videos, email bulletins, and conferences. There were also team briefs and director visits.
But the campaign wasn’t successful. The internal communications team failed to take into the account that 94 percent of its workers were Gen Y who preferred a mobile app, which can be updated regularly with interesting content.
2. Face-to-face communication may not be as effective
Most communication experts say that face-to-face communication is still the best when it comes to communicating with anyone. They argue that in real life meetings, a person can see the body language of the other person he or she is conversing with.
But that may not be necessarily true when the people involved are Mllennials. Due to their penchant for digital technology, Millennials are very much adept at working remotely and multitasking. They can also communicate better with virtual meetings, aside from the latter being faster and less costly.
In fact, many Millennials are capable of scanning emails, sending texts and instant messages, and browsing through their Twitter timelines during in-person meetings. That trait indicates how virtual meetings are best suited for the Millennnials, or perhaps more bluntly, how bored the young ones are with in-person meetings.
So in developing an internal communication strategy for Millennials, perhaps townhall meetings and one-on-one meetings must be dumped in place of virtual meetings.
3. Use of multiple communication tools is ideal
Millennials are always on the go. They have laptops aside from smartphones and tablets. These tools are easily accessible, and enable Millennials to work quickly and effectively.
Thus, the use of different communication methods may work in an internal communication strategy for Millennials. Use email, Intranet, instant messaging tools, among others, to reach out to these young corporate individuals.
Indeed, the corporate world is changing. Workers who are in their 20s and 30s are different than their older counterparts as far as communication is concerned. They’re more mobile and can easily adapt to newer forms of communications. It would be wise for any corporate communications unit to integrate the abovementioned tips in crafting a communications strategy aimed at connecting with Millennials.