As digital natives, Millennials (like me) have never known (or maybe can’t remember) a time where technology wasn’t a core part of how we live, work and communicate (a pen pal is just someone you email right?). This makes their approach to technology in our jobs fundamentally different from our Baby Boomer counterparts; it also makes us far less patient with outdated, slow, unintuitive technology.
As a result of our immersion in technology in virtually every facet of life, Millennials use technology in different ways and don’t realize that there’s any alternative. It’s not that we don’t like face to face contact, it’s that the technology and applications we use enable us to connect with our vast networks faster and easier than traditional communication channels.
For companies implementing technology and tools for their Millennial workforce, here are a few differences in how we use technology in our jobs:
1. Their social network is their network – Unlike Baby Boomers, Millennials don’t build most of their professional network from conferences and tradeshows, instead their social network is their professional network. They network with the people they know on Facebook, that they’ve met on LinkedIn, that they’ve travelled with and went to school with, and they expect to be able to work easily with those people to get their jobs done and accelerate their careers.
2. They switch between communication tools – Millennials aren’t thinking about long distance calling rates or mail delivery time. They want to use video with a friend of a friend in India, Whatsapp with a colleague in Boston and Skype with their manager. As a business, you have to provide access to communication tools like instant messaging, easy-to-use video, and document sharing which Millennials will have no problem toggling between (and even may demand it).
3. They expect a seamless user experience – Millennials are used to sleek, modern interfaces with instant sync functionality. Applications are all mobile friendly and storing and accessing information isn’t more than a few swipes away. Is your user experience optimized for the Millennials or are you still running the vacation request system from the last century?
Cultural fit is critical to Millennial retention, and a company’s outdated policies (what do you mean I can’t use my own device?) and “retro” technology (I have to dial “9” for what?) are indications of how compatible the company is for them. To have a highly productive Millennial workforce today, you’re going to have to make sure that you have tools, processes and technology that they’re excited to work with and use.
Switch up your technology. Check out SMART kapp and SMART kapp iQ today!
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