This blog is part of a series on Collaboration in the Huddle Room. The intent of this blog is to highlight the relationship between the growing number of millennials in the enterprise, their impact on enterprise collaboration, and its impact on them. We welcome your perspective and hope you will join us as we continue to explore this broader topic.
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. The latter makes perfect sense as millennials, 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 extends far beyond these numbers, however. Millennials grew up with technology. They’re ‘digital natives’ who’ve had PCs, the Internet and smart phones embedded in their education and culture, and they expect to leverage the same tools and technology in their careers.
Savvy IT leaders understand this and have been supporting BYOD (bring your own device) policies for some time. As the app explosion continues, this now extends to BYOA (applications) as well. Unlike previous generations, millennials are wide open to change and are comfortable with ‘fast failure’ (trying new apps and dropping them quickly if they don’t quickly prove valuable). This philosophy can pose challenges for IT who are still responsible for enterprise collaboration, and it can also be a factor in the higher employee turnover we see amongst millennials.
What’s Impacting Millennial Tenure?
Of course, there are likely many contributors, but two key drivers are at the very root. In a recent study, the 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey (which engaged over 10,000 millennials across 36 countries), diversity and flexibility surfaced as key factors for millennial satisfaction and tenure. Working in a diverse organization more than doubled the likelihood that a millennial would stay with their company for five or more years, and flexibility had a 3X+ impact.
Impact on Collaboration in the Enterprise
It’s no surprise then that millennials continue to seek collaboration tools that give them the flexibility to engage more deeply and be included more frequently within a diverse enterprise. This flexibility, however, doesn’t come without complexity. Providing and securing an environment with the dynamic addition of new apps is not automatic. The effect is multiplied as organizations continue to 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 is now hustling to provide a simple and productive meeting experience across a myriad of BYO devices, UC platforms and in-room A/V solutions. This is critical as millennials want to use the tools they’re comfortable with, and they expect one-touch simplicity (like they get with their favorite apps) when looking to quickly share wireless presentations or jump into a collaborative work session by voice or videoconference. 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 tracking these demands and creating solutions that are aligned to make IT (and the millennial workforce they support) successful and satisfied.
To learn more, check out this podcast where I speak with David Maldow about how millennials have redefined career expectations and business workflow.