Today’s young workforce is virtually all part of the Millennial Generation, also known as digital natives. This is a generation that is comfortable collaborating on social networks, and because of this, they expect their organization to provide collaboration tools and a highly “social” environment. Consequently, those organizations which have adopted these new collaboration tools are expected to see better productivity from their Millennial employees. Listed below are five ways in which enterprises can leverage present day social collaboration technologies to successfully and productively engage with the Millennial generation:
- Deploy a social collaboration platform for Millennials to share their views, comments, audio and videos: A social collaboration platform like Yammer or Confluence provides an environment and a platform to enable Millennials across the organization to collaborate. Such platforms enable quick communication and collaboration via discussion forums, instant chats, etc. Employees can form communities to help with enterprise initiatives and share insights similar to how they would via their own social networks. Additionally, because these social collaboration platforms are familiar to Millennial employees, they feel more comfortable using platforms such as Yammer or Confluence to interact with one another professionally as opposed to relying fully on email or the phone.
- Gamify collaboration platform to encourage healthy competition and better participation: Once a collaboration platform is deployed, gamification should be implemented to increase engagement and participation levels. Success should be celebrated and badges and gifts should be given to top contributors. For example, Virtusa employs a video-game like dashboard where employees can track their progress against their goals. This turns achieving goals into a competitive game that recognizes and awards top performers.
- Implement a BYOD (bring your own device) policy in your organization: Millennials have been dubbed the “hyper connected organization” and more often than not, are on their smartphone or tablet. Having a BYOD policy will encourage Millennials to use their devices to connect to the company’s network in a safe and secure way. This in turn, has the opportunity to greatly increase productivity of this group (or any employee). With BYOD, employees can access enterprise information from smart mobile devices, enabling them to participate in discussions 24/7.
- Listen to Millennials on collaboration platform and analyze the data and change support systems/policies to better fit them: Enterprises can enable social monitoring and listening to effectively analyze the social data consumed and shared by Millennials. Based on the findings of the analysis, HR or support system policies can be tailored to fit the needs of the Millennials. For example, if Millennials work better at different hours, flex time can and should be proposed.
- Transform your infrastructure in a way that is similar to cloud, which gives services on demand without delay: Millennials are used to things moving quickly, and one of the key asks by Millennials is the speed of fulfillment. Generally, if infrastructure and technology within the company is very slow, that company should consider upgrading that technology, particularly moving it to the cloud. This will “modernize” the infrastructure, allowing organizations to use it on the go and and reap all of the other benefits the cloud has to offer.
In this day and age, when it comes to Millennials, the three keys are social, mobile and cloud. By adopting social, mobile and cloud technologies, companies can better engage with Millennial employees and also improve competition and collaboration among employees overall.
This post was originally published on ITBusinessEdge on 10 Jan, 2013, and is re-posted here by permission.