Millennials are the generation that the media loves to hate. We’ve all seen the supposed thought pieces that say Millennials are lazy, entitled, and apparently a little too-obsessed with avocado toast.
Plenty of research has shown that this isn’t the case. Instead, many Millennials are driven, especially as employees. They want to work for a company where they can make a difference, and they have big ambitions to offer value to their employer and society in general. And since Millennials now make up a third of the workforce, it’s no surprise that they’ve been making a big impact in the way businesses operate.
One of these changes is communication. Millennials are the first generation who grew up with the mainstream emergence of the internet, and it’s shaped how they communicate and how they want to be communicated with.
Let’s take a look at a few of the key ways Millennials have impacted business communication and how you can adapt if you haven’t already.
They Embrace New Technology
The majority of Millennials have grown up with technology changing around them faster than previous generations; when I was eight, we got dial-up internet for the first time. Ten years later, everyone was walking around with hotspots on their smartphones, which could do more than we’d ever imagined.
Millennials, therefore, are more flexible and adaptable when it comes to learning new technology, including internal communication software. Whether you’re having them communicate via Slack or a different project management software like Asana or even Microsoft Teams, they’ll get on board and learn it quickly.
Texting Is Now Acceptable for Business Communications
My father, who is about to retire, scoffs at the idea of handling any sort of business through text, but many Millennials don’t think twice about it. They grew up texting, and they’re used to having major communications (including personal conversations like being asked out on a date or to end a relationship) to happen through text messaging.
If you need to ask a Millennial to come in for a meeting, send them a text. They’ll be more likely to see it respond quickly than if your call gets sent to voicemail.
This is part of the reason why Tresta has rolled out texting for our virtual business lines, allowing you to text your customers and employees alike all through our app, keeping personal and professional separate but still instantly accessible. You can learn more here.
Keep in mind that since smartphones are more important in business communication than ever before, using our Tresta virtual business numbers will save your company a significant amount of money by allowing your team to add a business line to their personal phone without requiring you to dish out iPhones to everyone on your staff.
Remote Work Is Increasing
Millennials are comfortable working remotely, and it gives them the freedom they want while still allowing them to work hard. They’re happy to video conference or call in as needed, and then work from the peace of their own home.
While some companies feel resistant to this at first, many have started adapting when they see the benefits. Opening up your team to remote workers allows you to find the best person for the job, no matter where they live. It can also cut back on overhead costs, because your office size can be much smaller when you don’t need desk space for your entire team. Read more about managing a remote team here.
Emphasis on Employee Collaboration & Feedback
Employee engagement should be a center stone of your company culture, because Millennials are valuing it highly. They want more regular feedback, and many are excited about the idea of finding a coach or mentor (official or otherwise) within their company. They do want to benefit the team and grow their talents, especially since many came of age or were new to the workforce when the recession hit.
Incorporate more two-way communication in your process, and leave plenty of room to offer specific feedback about why the work was great or to share some tips for how to do even better next time– even if it was already solid.
Pro tip: higher engagement rates means higher employee retention. Since 56% of Millennials will leave a job in three years or less, this can be key to helping you hang on to top up-and-coming talent in your industry.
Brevity is Valued
Millennials can be impatient. This can be a little jarring to older generations, who don’t understand why Millennials get frustrated with long-unproductive meanings or why they seem to get straight to the point a little faster, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Millennials, in general, want to get to the point faster so that they can keep working quickly, which is actually good for productivity. They also want to find newer, more effective and faster ways to solve problems, which is an added skill set that can be particularly valuable to your business. Faster emails, faster meetings, and overall brevity can be useful here.
Life evolves, and technology has drastically changed our world in the past two decades. Millennials have grown up alongside these rapid changes, so it’s not surprising that their influence on the workplace is substantial. Since top Millennial talent can be so difficult to find and retain, consider adapting your internal communication styles to the tips discussed in this post in order to attract them and keep them around a little longer.
Want to learn how virtual business lines can improve your business communication with Millennial employees? See what we can do for you here.