Using Technology to Engage Millennials at Work
Millennials, also known as digital natives (and Generation Y), were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s. Millennials grew up with instant access to information, making them the first truly hyper-connected generation. In fact, technology is so ingrained in their lifestyle that the US Chamber of Commerce found that they are 2.5 times more likely to be early adopters than their older counterparts.
But as Millennials increasingly populate the workforce, how will they affect organizations like yours? If you truly want to keep Millennials engaged, then you’ll need to turn to technology, especially of the collaborative and social variety. TINYpulse, an employee satisfaction company, surveyed 500 Millennials on how they felt about their organization’s use of technology, and this is what they said:
35% of Millennials agree their employer doesn’t leverage technology very well. For example, Millennials believe companies aren’t using enough cloud-based platforms or online communication tools. And if your organization isn’t meeting standards for this generation, then you can be sure they won’t be around for very long.
Here are solutions to integrate advanced tools in ways that will appeal to these digital natives.
Millennials thrive on teamwork. And companies should take advantage of this behavior since it does wonders for your bottom line. Try out platforms that facilitate the following:
- Social collaboration: Who knows social media better than Millennials? This generation is accustomed to online collaboration. So find a tool that utilizes news feeds, private messaging, group chats, and file sharing to replicate the social media setting that they’re used to.
- Project management: The Internet is a Millennial’s go-to storage house. Look out for project management software that include message and comment boards, document sharing, and to-do lists so workers can keep track of every asset in one centralized location—as well as see what their teammates are up to.
- Rapid-fire communication: Hold the phone. No really, hold it because Millennials grew up on texting and online chats. Choose a tool that has fun features like hashtags, group or private messaging, and, of course, file sharing to streamline communication in the workplace.
Instant is the keyword here. If you’re looking for ways to enhance or encourage collaboration in the workplace, go the technology route. Leaders might think Millennials will be distracted and spend all their time chatting through these tools, but it’s actually the opposite. They’ll help streamline workflow and increase cross-departmental communication.
Leverage a virtual world
Technology has built a world where information lives in clouds, and people don’t have to be in the same room to communicate face-to-face. Considering the growth of organizations that leverage remote employees, cross-continental offices and flexible schedules, technology makes this all work seamlessly. So use a tool that makes cross-office communication a breeze:
- Cloud-based content: In the same way that floppy disks are outdated, so are physical file folders. Cloud-based services store files in one centralized online location. Employees can instantly access files from anywhere in the world, from any time zone and their peers can access, update and edit them on their time.
- VPN: Also known as a virtual private network, this tool allows employees to access the company’s secure network through a public channel like the Internet. No matter where a person is, they can have access to the same private files as they would if they were physically in the office.
- VoIP: There’s a good chance that Millennials don’t remember how expensive videoconferencing equipment was. But nowadays, just about anyone can connect through video calls, whether on a computer or mobile device. You get a free tool and you get to cut down on travel costs.
In today’s digital world, communication isn’t just about face-to-face interactions, emails, and phone calls. Millennials have grown up with technology literally in their hands. And the more your company embraces all forms of collaborative technology, the more you can count on the Millennials to embrace your business right back.
Sabrina is a Content Marketing Specialist at TINYpulse, who researches and writes about new ways to make employees happier. A Seattle native, she loves her coffee, spending weekends in the mountains, and of course, the famous rain.