Why innovation is key in the age of millennial workers?
Workplaces have been evolving ever since the arrival of modern technology. First, it was the digitalization of conventional industries with the use of computers which are swiftly being replaced with only better computers, laptops, and mobile devices and of course the world wide web. These devices and technologies are contributing to a huge rehaul in the way workplaces operate, giving rise to new job roles and organizational challenges that were not envisioned a couple of decades ago.
And there’s also an exemplary shift in the employees- by 2020, 50% of the total workforce in the USA alone is millennial. The millennial working dynamics is a much-debated topic and rightly so. This generation is the product of the much-recognized baby boomers and hence come with peculiar traits that make working with them unusual, not necessarily in a bad way.
Needless to say, millennials are the future of work, at least till the Gen Z takes over. And if you are an organization looking to hire and grow in the upcoming decade, you have to sweat it out to create an environment that helps the millennials thrive and get them out of the bed every day to be productive for your organization.
And innovation is truly the key to attract, retain, and make the most of the millennial workforce. Here’s why:
Millennials grew up on technology…
Yes. Most were born with it. Millennials are people born between 1980 and 2000 so clearly, they were the ones to have computers in schools, probably had an email since forever, and own more than one digital device even before they start working. What this means is that for organizations to meet the expectations of the millennials, having access to the latest technology is imperative. From smartphones, hyper-connected IoT devices, wearables to cloud-based solutions, organizations have to reinvent how they perceive technology and extend the best-in-market always.
The organizations that don’t want to invest large dough in procuring new technologies can innovate and opt for the ‘leasing’ way. Leasing smartphones and other mobile devices are now incredibly effortless and replacing ever-changing tech can be heavily streamlined, without causing a huge dent in the finances.
Millennials have shorter attention spans…
Millennials were the first-ever generation to have unlimited access to visual content. They read more blogs than books and although it might seem like generalizing, they love video content more than textual. Communicating anything to the millennials can be hence done best with the help of videos.
Organizations can innovate with this and replace their existing text-heavy training and educational material with video content. In-person meetings can also be replaced with video conferences. In fact, a study suggests that 87% of the participants preferred video conferences over face-to-face meetings.
Millennials look for flexibility…
Millennials are the first-ever generation to ramp up the importance of flexibility, work-life balance, and location-independence. The millennial employees can be productive if they are provided with the flexibility to work anytime and from anywhere. A study suggests that 89% of millennials said they choose a flexible job over a job that pays more. To attract millennials into your organization, it is important that you are ready to innovate with the working environment. From flexible shifts to remote working, informal dressing to frequent sabbaticals, millennials are pioneering a new era of working in a true sense.
In unprecedented times such as a pandemic, the world has already been adopting a new normal of remote work. Organizations who haven’t already hopped on the remote working bandwagon, better do so now, because the millennials are now looking for a ‘remote-first’ culture in all honesty.
Millennials look to associate with a social cause…
It doesn’t mean they want to work only with non-profits or NGOs! Millennials want to associate with companies that provide social value via their product or service. If the company doesn’t add downright social value and is a consumer product/service, millennials expect the company to contribute or associate with a philanthropic cause.
This makes them feel good about their work and helps them be productive in return. Social entrepreneurship is truly gaining momentum, thanks to the millennials.
Most importantly, millennials are hungry for innovation…
Millennials are bursting with ideas and have plenty of platforms to express, create, and validate their ideas. From social media to startups, millennials drive innovation with out-of-the-box thinking, cognitive approach, technological know-how irrespective of educational qualifications and exactly understand which approach suits their idea the best. Of course, there are failures, but those also result in strong thought leadership that can further pave the way for innovation.
Millennials like innovation not just in terms of product ideas but the entire process of innovation- from collaboration to execution. Millennials look forward to incorporating innovative means of communication and collaboration, giving rise to tons of products- from digital whiteboards, online project virtualization tools, and virtual meeting spots. Moreover, the millennials are vocal about their requirements from the workplace and if your organization isn’t ready to listen up, expect some fireworks (virtual of course). If you create an environment where employees can crowdsource ideas, open-door culture for discussion, and inclusive town halls for roadmap discussions, you are going to attract millennials straight away.
Millennials have unique character traits but if they are coupled with innovation, it can work heavily in favor of your organization. Organizations have to remember that the job market is competitive and not just for the workforce, but also for the organizations themselves!
Author Bio – Renuka Shahane is a Sr. Content Writer at Scalefusion & Nuovopay. An engineering graduate, an Apple junkie and an avid reader, she has 5+ years of experience in content creation, content strategy and PR for technology and web-based startups.