It’s unusual for a day to pass without a mention of Millennials in the business media. All you have to do is search ‘millennials in business’ and you’ll be inundated with articles dissecting this generation’s characteristics and how to manage them better. Generally identified as anyone born between 1980 and 1994, this much-analyzed group now makes up the majority of our workforce and their influence is all around us, especially when it comes to communications.
If you’re in annual planning mode, it’s a good time to stop thinking about how to manage millennials and look at how you can work more effectively with them. Here are 5 tips to help you on your way to improving communications with your Millennial team:
1)Keep it short and sweet
There’s no avoiding the fact that the traditional conversation is moving online. Just like texting and posting on social media is replacing the phone call for Millennials, instant messaging and video conferencing are replacing in-person meetings and emails. With this comes the “Twitter effect;” digital conversations are short, a few words or a sentence, rather than paragraphs.
Adding an instant messaging app, such as RingCentral Glip, to your IT platform will give your team a tool that allows them to chat, collaborate, and set tasks the way they prefer: succinctly and simply.
2) Teamwork wins
Despite the brevity of communications and the tendency of Millennials to turn to their screens rather than meet in person, they also place a lot of value on effective teamwork and prefer to work together to make things happen. As a recent Forbes article noted, they don’t want to work in silos and still put high-value on a culture of collaboration.
Instant messaging apps like Glip give Millennials the sense of inclusion they are looking for in a format they are familiar with. Built-in features such as file sharing, group messaging, and video conferencing allow your team to collaborate seamlessly on projects to get the job done effectively and efficiently.
3) A timely response is everything
Millennials have grown up with the world at their fingertips, thanks to the explosion of the internet and social media on the scene just as they reached adolescence. In an instant, they can find out what their friends had for breakfast, what their family had for lunch, and even what their favorite celebrity had for dinner. Sharing is reciprocal; they want to share what they’re up to or what they’re thinking in real time and they expect an immediate response.
Instant messaging tools do exactly what their name suggests to answer this growing desire for rapid action and response at the office. Adopting such an app can be a great way to keep your whole team connected and engaged.
4) The flexible workspace is a productive workspace
Embracing flexible work schedules can be tough, but it may just empower your team and get them excited about getting their jobs done. That’s just the first step. By giving your Millennial team access to a collaboration app that can be used on any device, from anywhere, you can be confident that your team’s productivity won’t slide, even when they’re remote.
5) Familiarity is your friend
Familiarity is also a big factor when it comes to a work environment for Millennials. Bring your own device (BYOD) isn’t a new concept, but today the focus has shifted to bring your own IT. Today’s younger workforce wants to bring their favorite apps to work, or at least apps that operate in a similar way to those they use at home every day.
Make sure you consult your team before you choose which apps to adopt. This will not only help you to identify the right tools but lessen the risk of employees going rogue and using their own preferred, less-secure apps to stay on top of things.
If you follow these tips for communicating better with Millennials and adopt the right instant messaging and collaboration tools, you are sure to benefit from a happier and more productive team.
The RingCentral Glip messaging and collaboration app is included with RingCentral Office.
Originally published Jan 23, 2017, updated Aug 21, 2020