Getting it right for Next.jpeg

Get it Right: Digitalization Matters to the Next Generation

By Cathie Ericson | 2-min read

Today’s workers expect their employers to be tech-savvy. In fact, more than 80 percent of millennials, now the largest generation in the workplace, say that workplace tech would have an influence on whether they would take a job, according to the Future Workforce Study.

The digitalization of the workforce has many benefits for companies, such as “increased productivity, cost savings, a more mobile and agile workforce, and generally increased flexibility and adaptability in an ever increasingly complex marketplace,” according to a report from Deloitte.

If companies don’t embrace digitalization opportunities in all facets, including employee communication, they will be left behind.

These are the three truths about millennials in the workplace that a company should consider as they communicate HR programs and the employer value proposition:

1. Millennials are mobile first

Americans touch their phone an average of more than 2,500 times a day, and among the highest user groups, over 5,000 times. What does that mean to employee communication? A company that wants to capture their employees’ attention will make sure that they include a mobile-first component.

One report found that delivering benefits information via technology resulted in employees having a more positive perception of their benefits. “Digital media and online/mobile apps give employees the opportunity to engage with their benefits when it suits them, connecting while commuting to work, for example, increasing the opportunity to capture and keep their attention,” the report says.

2. Millennials expect consumer-grade experiences everywhere

Forget yesterday’s tired, boring HR employee communications. With the average American being bombarded with thousands of messages a day (nearly 90 percent say there are more ads than there were two years ago) cutting through the clutter is essential.

In a sign of how important the “entertainment factor” is, consider that even airlines are spicing up their in-flight safety videos in a bid to keep our attention.

“If [employee communications professionals] are thinking like marketers, we’ll be far more creative, because our employee audience demands it. If we’re doing our jobs the right way, we’re storytellers,” says Sharon McIntosh, president of marketing firm And Then Communications.

Companies that want their workforce to pay attention to their employee communications will put a premium on creating fresh, interesting information and delivering it in a consumer-friendly way.

3. Millennials want information to come to them

The old model of “portal-based” employee communication, where the onus is on the employee to find the information they need, is just too much work for a generation that relies on apps like Slack and Chatter to constantly feed them the latest.

HR departments that adopt a campaign-based employee communication program are going to get more traction as they reach their workforce where they are, through a variety of media from messaging apps to email to FAQs – even impossible-to-ignore posters.

Relying on today’s workers to seek out the information themselves in a portal-based system is asking for the information to be ignored.

Utilizing campaign-based delivery where you offer short bursts of content over a sustained period of time and using a variety of media is the best way to ensure that information is both noticed and retained.