The millennial generation grew up in an instantaneous world, with Google immediately answering their every question and helicopter parents at their beck and call. Millennials are now bringing those same instantaneous, always-on expectations into the workforce, particularly when it comes to technology and tech support. To recruit and retain top talent, businesses have no choice but to adapt to this fast-paced generation’s technology needs. Here are a few of their needs and tips on how to cope:
1. Offer real-time response. This generation is not accustomed to waiting for someone to answer the phone or reply to an e-mail within 48 hours to get their issues resolved. To meet millennials’ expectations, IT departments must also offer options such as real-time chat and self-help tools that enable instant response and resolution. If a problem is too complex to be resolved within the first contact, clearly communicate the resolution action plan to minimize frustration.
2. Consider supporting BYO devices. Millennials entering the workforce want to bring their own laptops, smartphones, and tablets into the office, and have them integrate seamlessly with e-mail and other applications. This type of device-open environment is now the norm at many colleges, and recent grads expect it to hold true when they transition to corporate life. To support a smorgasbord of devices, IT teams need to become more cross-functional and adopt technologies, such as remote support, that foster collaboration.
3. Enable anywhere access. Millennials expect the same level of access to data and applications whether they’re in the office, working from home, or traveling abroad. Ensuring employees can check e-mail on their smartphones, forward their office extension to their landline, or access a shared server via a hotel’s Wi-Fi connection is a crucial part of supporting their need for constant connection.
4. Foster collaborative communication. Millennials rely on social networking sites, instant messaging, and texting to communicate, and they expect access to these sites from the office. These are the tools they use to network and collaborate, so cutting off access often restricts their ability to excel in their job.
The ramifications of millennials’ expectations around technology extend far beyond the IT department. To recruit and retain top talent and help them reach their full potential, organizations have no choice but to fulfill their needs for constant connection, instantaneous support, and the freedom to use their preferred devices. Businesses that can’t transform accordingly risk losing this giant generation of employees.
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