Businesses that still use “end-of-life” communications solutions—solutions that are no longer heavily marketed or supported by vendors today (think fax)—are unfortunately set to hit a major bump in the road on their way to organizational efficiency, productivity and profitability. Why? Millennials entering the workplace are completely disrupting and redefining the enterprise communications and collaboration landscape.
In fact, according to Pew Internet, the number of millennials is projected to soon outnumber that of baby boomers—specifically, 75.3 million millennials compared to 74.9 million baby boomers—thus representing the U.S’s largest living generation. This limits room for such end-of-life solutions, if ever there was any.
Mountains of research confirm this communications shift brought on by the millennial generation. As more baby boomers retire in the years to come, the millennial generation will emerge as the predominant majority of workers, further influencing business environments. So, what kind of communication tools do millennials prefer? That is, what kinds of technologies should business owners be considering to keep up with this generation’s impending arrival and demands on business? To excel in the workplace, this generation prefers—even requires—digital, social and mobile solutions.
In fact, between 91 to 100 percent of millennials surveyed by Pew Internet this year said they use their smart devices for texting, Internet browsing, email and voice and video calls. The expectation among millennials is that these kinds of tools and functionalities will be made available to them both on their personal devices as well as in the workplace. And this expectation is not out of selfishness or a refusal to adapt to older methods of working (characteristics unfairly applied to this generation). Consider, instead, that for many millennials, Internet connectivity and some form of mobility is a way of life.
Having said this, businesses that still rely on diminishing value solutions, like fax, will face debilitating obstacles compared to businesses that evolve their communications strategy so that it meets the needs of its end users—which, as described, will one day be comprised primarily of millennials. Today’s communication solutions should live and breathe in a way that meets the needs of the end user (a.k.a. millennial).
The physical fax machine, for instance, is becoming an increasingly isolated and unused technology that offers no value to millennial employees. By replacing such dated equipment with specific solutions requested or needed by certain employees, based on their specific job duties and responsibilities, i.e with a consumption-based communications strategy, businesses will be better prepared for the future.
What’s more, features and functionalities of such “end of life” solutions should be fully integrated into millennial employees’ workflows. For example, such communications can transform into processes like social threads or mobile push notifications; they can become digitally, verses physically, embedded into users’ communications. These solutions can be transformed, in other words, back into viable communication methods for millennials in your workforce.
Fifty-three percent of hiring managers say they have difficulty finding and retaining millennials, according to research from Elance-oDesk. It’s time that business owners get on board with new communications solutions in order to meet the needs of millennials and stay relevant and competitive.
To see the impact of better user experiences through embedded communication solutions, dowload our white paper with examples from companies like Thomson Reuters, Scotts Miracle-Gro and ArrowSI: