Generation Y, better known as the millennials, are making their way into the workforce, and turning heads while doing so. With over 16 million keyword searches on millennials and 44,000 articles available online, this generation is a hot topic. What seems to be on everyone’s mind is how to get them to work for you. This begins with understanding who the millennials are and how communications tools have evolved in contrast to the other generations that comprise todays’ workforce.
Let’s begin with the Baby Boomers; who currently sit at the head of most companies throughout the world. This generation grew their success with much simpler but slower communications tools. Post mail and rotary dial phone calls were organized through secretaries which required additional layers of human interaction.
Soon the tools transformed into fax machines, pulse dial, pagers and voicemails for the Generation Xers, but still required processing time and maintenance. The Baby Boomers and Gen X have kept up with the times and adopted mobile and desk phone systems as well as email. But long email chains and phone tag are unnecessary pains felt by these generations and companies, who unlike Gen Y, never felt the simplicity of AOL Instant Messenger.
The workplace is right in the middle of a transformational era in communication platforms. Connecting people and offices has become complex and disjointed in attempts to merge the old with the new technology. Marketers from Skype for Business shine a perfect light on this transition in regard to millennials when saying, “The device they use the most is not a PC like it was the case for you and me. It is a phone. And they use it for everything but calling home.”
Today, Gen Y’s technology delivers immediate news, messages and answers in real-time all at their fingertips. They have had cellular connections, instant messaging/text messaging and presence indicators, for most, or at least half of their lifetime. Gen Y values this same immediate response in their workplace, illustrating the gap in communication techniques and expectations. Forty years ago, business workflow appeared to represent the “simpler times.” However, doesn’t having your email, calendar, contacts list, messaging, and phone line all hosted on one platform seem a heck of a lot more efficient? These types of platforms are accompanied with presence indicators, so you can kiss the intercoms goodbye.
So what’s the next step?
To empower this next generation to be successful and strong contributors, it is going to take more than just the right set of communications tools. You also need to know who you are hiring, how they function in the workplace, and ultimately what they value. The millennial mentality is all about balance which can be beneficial to any company. We’ve looked into the 4 major millennial personas illustrated by LinkedIn’s marketing group and composed an infographic tailored to help decode this generation. Millennials as a collective group, thrive off of feedback and excel in developing professional connections. With 86 million millennials as active users on LinkedIn, this compiled set of characteristics, habits, values and data- serves as the perfect key in developing a deeper understanding and how to get the most out of your millennial investment.