By David Portnowitz, Star2Star
Much has been made of the future impact of Millennials in the workplace, as they stream into jobs in ever-increasing numbers. After the lasting legacy of the Baby Boomers, who have defined how people work for decades, and the comparatively small (yet mighty) cohort that is Gen X, the glut of Millennials is set to be game-changing.
“They expect rapid progression, a varied and interesting career, and constant feedback. In other words, millennials want a management style and corporate culture that is markedly different from anything that has gone before – one that meets their needs.”
Millennials are those born between 1980 and 2000, who are now entering employment in vast numbers. They already form 25 percent of the workforce in the U.S., and by 2020, they will form 50 percent of the global workforce, according to PwC. As such, they will be critical to the success of businesses going forward. They’re also going to create a sea of changes in how businesses enable communications and workplace behaviors. Those with the right skills will be in high demand, which means that smart businesses will prepare now to attract the best of this generation.
“Their career aspirations, attitudes about work, and knowledge of new technologies will define the culture of the 21st Century workplace,” PwC noted. “CEOs tell us that attracting and keeping younger workers is one of their biggest talent challenges.”
The way and amount that Millennials in the workplace use technology clearly sets them apart.
“They have grown up with broadband, smartphones, laptops, and social media being the norm and expect instant access to information,” PwC explained. “This is the first generation to enter the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than more senior workers.”
At the same time, Millennials in the workplace tend to be uncomfortable with rigid corporate structures and turned off by information silos. They want flexible working environments that seamlessly enables mobile and social channels as routes to productivity.
All of this requires a focused response from employers, and unified communications (UC) will be one of the foundational pieces. True to its name, UC breaks down communications silos and enables Millennials and other workers to communicate on an individualized basis, with a suite of technologies such as instant messenger, video calling, and other real-time and traditional communication applications like email, voicemail, fax and SMS, available across platforms and devices, on-demand, via one intuitive interface.
This will all seem familiar to the digital-native Millennial generation, who will leverage UC to maintain dynamic and fluid work schedules and infuses innovation and technology as part of the work experience.
Business that win in the Millennial talent search will have the “culture, management style and approach to recruitment and retention [that] naturally appeal to the Millennial generation,” PwC noted. “And because of that, they are able to take their pick of the best younger talent around. Irrespective of the long-term aims and ambitions of an individual company. The ability to attract and retain millennial talent will be a vital step to achieving it.”