How to match the needs of millennials

Millennials are roughly defined as those born in the decade between 1983 and 1993. So, in 2018, we’re talking about people between the ages of 25 and 35. Unlike the younger Generation Z, millennials are not digital natives. In fact, they probably didn’t get their first computer until around the time that they were in secondary school – and even then, it was probably a shared family machine. A mobile phone would have come later still.

Technology has come a long way in recent years, completely transforming the way we live, work and communicate. Of all the demographic groups, it’s safe to assume that technology adoption has probably been most seamless amongst millennials. Which means they now have a particular set of expectations when it comes to their own working environments, more so than their predecessors. They have come to expect flawless telecommunications, a full suite of systems, tools and solutions that allow them to be as productive and efficient as possible in their professions..

That’s why meeting the needs and expectations of millennials is increasingly key to business productivity and growth in organisations of all sizes, whether in the private or public sector.Millennials in the workplace

One thing to consider is that millennials are no longer the youngest generation at work. Those at the upper end of the age range will have a good chunk of experience under their belts by now. They’ll be progressing in their careers, reaching more senior positions, and will be starting to have an influence on the future of the office. Others might have just a handful of years’ experience, but it’s for those on the younger end of the spectrum that workplace environment and culture is likely to be even more important. It could even be the difference between staying with a company or jumping ship.

As one Forbes article puts it: millennials are about to start setting new standards of leadership (as baby boomers begin to retire) because they have a different set of priorities. Diversity and inclusion will be high on the agenda, for example. But for businesses to match the needs of millennials as this happens, and foster the best environment for business growth, they’ve got to make sure the right tools and communication channels are at their disposal.

Communication remains critical

As millennials start to run the show, they’ll be the generation on the frontline facing an AI revolution. And while it’s true that technology is going to continue changing modern workplaces at pace, throughout it all, the ability to communicate will remain crucial to maintaining an effective, efficient workforce.

The last decade has seen a huge proliferation in the range of communication methods available, and at the same time, it’s easy to make sweeping assumptions about the millennial relationship with communication. Have they really fallen out of love with speaking on the phone? Do they really consider picking up the phone a last resort?

In Gamma’s own Transformation Game research, we found that 64% of businesses are concerned that they’re losing the art of speaking on the phone. However, 73% of businesses also recognise that voice calls do offer unique qualities as a business tool. So, while millennials may be relying more heavily than ever on text-based methods of communication, that’s no reason to assume that they’re blind to the advantages of voice communication. If they’re choosing other communication methods first, it’s not necessarily because they don’t want to use the phone – it’s more likely to be because the voice channels at their disposal have not kept pace with the digital transformation that surrounds them. They expect communication to be quick, convenient and effective, and they’ll pick whichever method best meets those standards.

How to make voice more effective

When we talk about effective communication, there’s still nothing better than voice when it comes to getting stuff done at work. We can speak much more quickly than we can type, after all. And if anything, voice is making a comeback with the rise of voice recognition technology, which is increasingly making its way into our homes and daily lives.

Gamma’s own research shows that voice still, in fact, comes out as the most favoured method of communication for a number of workplace activities and continues to be the most used daily channel by businesses, with 85% of the people we survey using the phone every day. Email came in next at 76%.

One way for businesses to meet the needs of millennials, is to ensure that the voice channels at their disposal are fit-for-purpose. For voice to feel as effective as any other channel, it needs to fit in with things like the rise of remote working and feel seamlessly integrated with other channels and platforms. It can play a significant part in improving mobile productivity. If businesses can get this right, voice continues to be as effective and efficient a business tool as any other.

Just as businesses have been moving traditional IT infrastructure and application services to more agile cloud-based platforms, the transition from traditional fixed line phone systems has also been gathering pace. The adoption of cloud-hosted voice services has been driven by this need for both fixed and mobile telephony to support mobile working practices. Not only does it aid business productivity, efficiency and growth, but it meets the needs of millennials who are set to have a leading role in defining the future of our workplaces.

Find out more about Gamma’s cloud-hosted voice solutions.