It is estimated that 75% of the UK workforce will be millennials and Gen Z by 2025. These tech-centric age groups are already changing the way we work, and place unprecedented demands on employers. Whilst the media portray millennials as the most problematic generation for employers, that is not necessarily the case. A report published by PwC suggests millennials will be the most important generation for the next decade.
The biggest challenge for companies of all sizes, however, is engaging and retaining tech-savvy generations. With skill sets in short supply, holding on to top talent is critical for companies to stay competitive. Younger generations also want more work-life balance. They value a strong workplace culture and a close-knit workplace is important to them. Moreover, they want to develop quickly and expect companies to supply the technological tools that enable them to thrive.
Gallup claim millennials are a job-hopping generation. Generation Z is expected to be equally dissatisfied with their job if companies do not meet their expectations. And the younger generations expect firms to have their digital act together.
Digitalise The Workspace
Millennials have shown they are prone to using technology to transform workflows and increase workplace efficiency. Having grown up with computers and smartphones, millennials have shown an aptitude for nailing productivity software. Companies that have not already taken advantage of cloud computing, mobile devices and hands-free technologies have no choice.
With the problems posed by the novel coronavirus, employers need to upgrade your existing technologies to accommodate remote working and Covid-secure health and safety regulations. The next step is to install virtual desktops that enable employees to work from anywhere without feeling disconnected from the team.
Promote Remote Working That Works
Younger generations expect flexible working options. However, in practice, remote working has not given millennials the freedom they crave. A poll found that 40 per cent of Millennials said they do not feel any more productive working remotely. They also feel more disconnected from their employers. Today’s video conferencing solutions are part of the problem. They create an illusion you are in a face-to-face meeting, but with a lack of non-verbal cues, there is little chemistry and practically zero energy exchange.
Humans are naturally social creatures and need contact with other humans. For colleagues to build a rapport, collaborate and trust one another, there have to be real-life scenarios. However, the post-pandemic world will probably usher in remote working. It may be needed for practical, physical and economic reasons. That being the case, dynamic technologies that create a profound sense of realness is called for. Although virtual reality (VR) technology is still in its infancy, it has great potential to provide a solution for the post-pandemic remote working conundrum.
VR involves wearing headsets that create a computer-generated 3D environment. It can be arranged to bring multiple people into a 3D space. The headsets effectively close off the connection the senses have to the outer world, essentially tricking your brain into believing the 3D simulation is actually taking place. As a result, VR meetings will feel like IRL meetings.
Create Employee-Driven Experiences
Younger generations want to be engaged in as many aspects of the workplace as possible. Everything from internal communications, learning and development and ordering a cup of coffee. Not every business has to build a smart office which knows how and when you like your coffee, finds you a car parking space and organises your seating plan. However, you do need to install immersive technologies that engage your staff. Adding animation and gamification to your internal comms makes dry topics – like health and safety videos – watchable and memorable. They also help to spark discussion and interaction.
Moreover, animation is a powerful communication tool that enables you to share your ideas, cultivate a company culture and impact your marketing. Millennials typically think like consumers, and if you get them to buy into your product, their knowledge and enthusiasm transfer to their work.
Support learning and development
Studies show that a job priority for millennials is career growth and development opportunities. It’s also been shown that employers that provide well-defined career paths and provide the relevant training have lower turnovers. Moreover, millennials want to progress quickly. And that requires absorbing as much information as they can in the shortest space of time. Integrating VR technologies into training strategies has shown that trainees absorb and retain more information than traditional training methods. VR could well be one of the frontier technologies younger generations look for the most in a company.