“Millennials” is no longer a buzzword. Rather, it now represents the newest and largest generation in the workforce. A study by Deloitte found that by 2025, 75 percent of the global workforce will be made up of Millennials. For employers, finding a way to engage these individuals–born between 1981 and 2000–has never been more important. As 85 percent of Millennials own a smartphone, utilizing mobile technology as a way to communicate is critical to keeping them engaged and connected to their work.
A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that two-thirds of Millennials want to have the ability to work from home (64%) and the ability to shift work hours (66%). Providing the ability for employees to get their work done outside of the typical office setting or a nine-to-five schedule can help boost employee affinity, and therefore engagement. Another recent study by Ernst & Young found Millennials are the generation most likely to say they would change jobs or careers, give up promotion opportunities, move to another place or take a pay cut to have flexible schedules. Mobile technology can ease the concerns over connecting with a such a dispersed and unsettled workforce.
Gone are the days where a worker is only tasked with one responsibility. Millennials are expected to multi-task and employers should organize information so that they can do so as easily and efficiently as possible. To the extent they are on the road, businesses need to make sure their staff has the ability to access the information they need from their mobile device without having to ask for help or for someone to email them a needed document. Providing easy access to company content has a direct correlation with job satisfaction. According to a survey by theEMPLOYEEapp, 62 percent of employees said that accessibility to company information directly impacts job satisfaction.
Culture of Transparency
For Millennials, it’s not just about finding a company that provides them with a paycheck. Rather, it’s about believing in the company they work for, its mission and its leaders. Therefore, it is important for companies to make their leaders more accessible and to come up with creative ways to showcase who these people are, what their company’s mission is, and the plan for the future.
Effective communications is therefore critical if businesses desire to have a workforce that is aligned with their goals. For example, rather than just sending emails with written updates, short videos from management can be used to keep employees informed about upcoming announcements or events.
Millennials view work as being an integral part of their life. These days, it's hard to know when we aren’t working because technology has enabled us to be in touch and connected all the time. 61 percent of Americans plan to work during vacations, however “workcations” are now becoming popular, allowing employees to combine work and vacation without actually taking days off. Mobile devices allow a seamless transition between work and personal activity. With smartphones literally in the palm of Millennials’ hands, an effective way to provide efficient work-life integration is to make sure that the mobile user experience for work related functions, tools and resources is excellent.
As we progress in the 21st century, the constraints of 20th century business practices and tools—being tethered to an office, confined to an arbitrary set of work hours, and having minimal contact between employers and employees—will quickly become archaic. Millennials aren’t just unorthodox young people, embracing fads. Rather they are harbingers of the future of business.
Jeff Corbin is CEO of KCSA Strategic Communications, a New York-based consulting firm that represents hundreds of organizations, both public and private. He is also the founder of theEMPLOYEEapp™, a business-to-business/enterprise native app platform for internal communications.