Why You’re Not Reaching Your Millennial Workforce
Much has been written about millennials over the past few years, more than 45,000 articles and counting. While searching the depths of the internet you can find some fascinating headlines:
“The baffling reason millennials don’t eat cereal”
“4 ways Jesus was like a millennial”
“Dunkin Donuts’ new menu ignores millennials in a major way”
“Why Millennials are giving their kids weird names”
The underlying theme is that people can’t seem to understand how millennials operate. Who are millennials? What do we value? What drives us? Are we too lazy to eat cereal? These are just a few examples of unanswered questions crucial to those seeking to understand the millennial mind — indeed, the millennial worldview.
Born Alongside Technology
As a millennial and a member of the digital generation—that is, the first generation to be shaped by the rise of mobile devices and the availability of instant access to digital information—I have certain expectations from the content which I access at work, as well as the tools I use to interact with such content. Millennials were raised in an environment saturated with technology, especially when it comes to our experience of personal interactions in the age of social media. Because of this, how we learn about and understand the world around us is radically different from previous generations.
For instance, if we need information, we are accustomed to finding it instantly with the help of a quick Google search or the tap of an app. As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Pew Research, and The New York Times, to name but a few, evidence to date strongly suggests a growing trend where news is increasingly being delivered to consumers through Facebook and Twitter.
Mobile, Searchable, and Engaging
If that’s true, millennials have come to expect that our content be mobile, searchable, and engaging. Yet time and time again companies fail us when it comes to content such as training and enablement materials. They hand us binders full of flat, outdated information. Or they give us the login to a clunky company intranet, which is really not much better, vaguely reminiscent of early days of the modern web when a dial-up connection was the fastest game in town and winning a game of Solitaire risked freezing the computer.
Getting the best out of your millennial workforce requires you to give them the tools they need to be successful. That starts with supplying corporate content that aligns with how millennials learn. Companies need to ditch the binders and file sharing solutions, and instead champion the push towards content solutions that allow for mobile, searchable, and most importantly engaging information that can be consumed on any device at any time. What companies need, in short, is a Google for the workplace — not just in terms of raw functionality, but in terms of engagement and approach.