There are roughly 80 million millennials in the United States today, and half of this number is in the workforce. Millennials are described as well-educated, entitled, confident and tech savvy. Oftentimes, the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers that are managing millennials have trouble connecting with and motivating them.
We're here to tell you that reaching your millennial employees is not as difficult as it may seem. It's all in how you engage them. Read on to discover three key ways to speak to your younger staff:
Utilize technology to your advantage
Understand that technology is king for this generation. Millennials were born into the world of laptops and iPods, and, if you want to communicate with them, you need to be doing so through technology. Because of this, Generation Y knows good tech. They may scoff at or not appreciate the clunky desktops and fax machines your company uses. However, they will be impressed by sleek digital signage software or anything interactive.
Therefore, employ this kind of technology in your office. Millennials are used to having their eyes constantly fixed on a screen – take advantage of this as you place digital signage displays in high-traffic areas around your space. If there's a message you need them to know, put it up here. Bulletin boards and printed newsletters will not work.
Do remember that the longer they have to spend reading information or determining how to use it, the quicker you'll lose their attention. Short and sweet is the way to go, so make your point and move on. A good way to stay relevant is to balance humor and corporate need-to-knows. Show funny memes on your digital signage displays as well as messages from HR. Once they're laughing with you, you'll have loyal employees that continuously check the digital signs, almost subconsciously.
Do not get stuck in the age-old saying, "We've just always done it this way." This is the fastest way to lose the loyalty and motivation of your Generation Y employees. Instead, ask yourself and your staff, "What needs to be improved?"
It could be the way you're disseminating important information. Studies have shown that corporate email has been exhausted and intranets are rarely used. Are you wasting corporate dollars on these efforts? Update your processes with digital signage software. You could even choose to incorporate interactive wayfinding and meeting room signs. This is sure to capture the attention of your efficient and tech-savvy colleagues.
Let their voices be heard
One of the key descriptors of this generation is that it likes to be heard. Social media platforms and parents acted as sounding boards in the past. Now, millennials also want to be heard at work. This generation seeks a workplace where their ideas are not only heard, but applied.
It's easy to make this possible with the right kind of digital signage solution. Some solutions have capabilities that make it possible, even easy, for anyone to add content to the digital screens. But don't worry, managers – there's an approval process in place. If you let all members of your staff add content that's important to them to displays, you'll have employees that are not only passive observers but also active contributors.
Millennials desire a company that's willing to grow with the times. If your business is willing to change and listen to its younger employees, the sky is the limit for success.
/ Matthews, the president of software provider Visix and a veteran of the visual communications industry, is credited with a comprehensive corporate reorganization of the company and shepherding in a suite of new digital signage products.