By Daniel Bruce, Digital Marketing Executive at GCI.
By 2030, “Millennials” (generally defined as individuals reaching early adulthood in the 21st century) will represent 75% of the workforce . Most of my generation have never known anything that doesn’t offer us what we want instantaneously, whether it’s music or TV on-demand or communicating with each other in real time via text, instant messaging or social media. But upon entering the workplace and finding yourself surrounded by people of all ages there can be cultural differences, and some organisations can struggle with blending the old and new to improve how they work. A key question is how should organisations welcome the next generation workforce, make them feel at ease and incorporate their new ways of thinking?
When I first stepped into the workplace I was contemplating how I could adjust to being in meetings and deciphering long tail email messages, as I was used to getting answers in seconds via WhatsApp, Snapchat, or Twitter. Luckily for me, GCI had Skype for Business, a platform that has made settling into work a doddle. As a new starter in my first “real job”, it can be very daunting going into a 500-people strong organisation. Being able to instantly ask questions, find the relevant people and develop relationships across the country via any device or location has proven invaluable.
I grew up not knowing life before social media and instant communication, and for me Skype for Business does an excellent job of bridging the gap for Millennials to be effective in the workplace. I welcome the evolution of communication through technology; instant messaging platforms and group chat applications are no longer just for personal matters, but are now an employee demand. Skype for Business brings together all of the typically disparate ways to communicate into one platform, putting video, instant message and voice into one very simplistic desktop or mobile application. Skype for Business draws credentials from your active directory, meaning all your employees can be added, along with their job titles, contact details and profile pictures. Regardless of your company size or if you have multiple office locations, you’ll always be able to find the right person to collaborate with – a huge advantage for helping new starters settle in quicker.
When it comes to recruiting and retaining Millennial talent, statistics confirm that the need for investment in technology is crucial. According to research by PwC, 59% place high value on an employer’s provision of state-of-the-art technology when considering a job  and 53% of hiring managers say it’s difficult to find and retain Millennials .
Millennials no longer hope for the latest technology in the workplace – they expect it, with 78% saying it helps them be more effective in their role . This assumption might feel like a sense of entitlement, but in fact what Millennial workers really want are the tools required to be effective in the workplace. And with Millennials quickly becoming the workplace majority, organisations need to invest in the cutting-edge tools that meet their employees’ needs.
The workforce is changing fast, and so are the needs of today’s high-potential employees. In this era of rapidly changing technology, it’s important to understand how tech has become an integral part of Millennials’ goals to impact and change the world, with 41% saying they would rather communicate electronically than face-to-face or over the telephone .
Organisations shouldn’t hesitate – Skype for Business is for everyone, regardless of generation. It’s time for firms to give their entire workforce the technology they need to innovate and change the world, accelerating their organisations in ways that were previously unimaginable.
In recent months there has been yet another twist in the Microsoft Unified Communications journey, as Microsoft Teams was introduced as the new kid on the block at Microsoft’s Ignite Conference in Florida. Want to learn more about Teams and what Microsoft are planning to do with Skype for Business? Find out what our Microsoft Partner Director, Lyndon Evans had to say at Microsoft Future Decoded. Watch the video.
Daniel Bruce is a Digital Marketing Executive at GCI.
A graduate of the Freedom Communications Higher Apprenticeship Scheme in April 2017, Daniel contributes to the Marketing efforts of the GCI Group, leading the marketing for social media, partner engagements and product launches. He also holds a Degree in Professional Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.