Millennials in the Enterprise
Millennials, those born roughly from the early 1980s through the mid 1990s, are the subject of a great many discussions both socially and within the enterprise. They are already the largest single generation in the workforce, will become the outright majority by 2022 and reach 75% by 2025 (per the World Economic Forum).
The impact millennials are having on enterprise collaboration is unique. They grew up with technology. They’re ‘digital natives’ who have had smart phones since they could walk. They believe in work/life integration (the intermixing of work and personal time), and they expect to use their personal devices and favorite applications both in and out of work.
More so than previous generations, millennials are open to change and are comfortable with trying new apps and dropping them quickly if they don’t quickly prove valuable. They also desire inclusion in the decision-making process (and expect it much earlier in their careers). These behaviors pose challenges for IT who are still responsible for enterprise collaboration, and they can also be factors in the higher employee turnover we see amongst millennials.
Impact on Collaboration in the Enterprise
It’s no surprise then that they continue to seek collaboration tools that give them the flexibility to engage more deeply and be included more frequently within a diverse enterprise. Providing and securing an environment with the dynamic addition of new apps is not automatic, and its effect is multiplied as organizations add more huddle rooms and alternative collaboration spaces to meet the needs of the flexible, open-work environments.
Instead of choosing a ‘standard configuration,’ IT must now hustle to provide a simple and productive meeting experience across a myriad of BYO devices, UC platforms and in-room A/V solutions. To keep the best and brightest, enterprises need to be agile enough to support a wide range of UC solutions in a simplified manner.
Fortunately, this challenge has not gone unnoticed. As a company that is purely focused on connecting people with technology to make every meeting experience consistent, simple, productive and free from vendor lock-in, we are aware of the needs and demands of the changing workforce and are focused on creating solutions that are aligned to make IT (and the millennial workforce they support) successful and satisfied.
To adapt to the needs of a changing workforce, business and IT leaders must not be afraid to change themselves. Who knows, we might just be able to learn something from the ‘new guys.’
Editor’s Note: For more information on this topic, please see LDV Podcast #39 (below), and for similar thought leadership from this author be sure to check out his company blog.