By Chris Doggett, Chief Sales Officer, Fuze
Millennials and their Gen Z successors, which we call the “App Generation,” have high expectations when it comes to technology.
A survey done by Penn Schoen Berland found that 42 percent of millennials would leave an organization due to “substandard technology.” And while boomer and Gen X employees aren’t exactly yelling “get off our lawns” as some pundits accuse, they’re often understandably attached to existing hardware and software stacks that are embedded in the workflows that keep the business running.
The result is, you and your customers are being forced to rethink the status quo, but not too drastically. How will you accommodate tech-driven employees who value efficiency, flexibility and personal growth without disrupting the business or putting data at risk? Here are three suggestions.
1. Provide Consumer-Like User Experiences
Millennials grew up with technology at their fingertips and are accustomed to a certain user experience. There’s art and science to designing an elegant, modern UI. The App Generation won’t abide outdated, clunky, poorly designed systems and tools. If you don’t make sure the technology they have at work is as intuitive and convenient as what they use in their personal lives, they’ll abandon that expensive enterprise software suite. In some cases, they’ll bring in free consumer software options, such as for instant messaging, or download free video software when they’re looking for face time between colleagues. Not only does this create a disjointed experience across the organization, it creates serious data security and shadow IT issues.
The bottom line is, people will always look for ways to make their workflows faster and smoother. As Shan Sinha notes in a recent ComputerWorld piece, “a great user experience is no longer the cherry on top of a secure product; it’s the whole sundae.” Millennials won’t wait to get the right technology at their fingertips, so think differently about the tools you and your customers are providing, and make user experience a top priority.
2. Create Opportunity for Customization: In today’s office environments, no two workflows are the same. While millennials have shaken things up in modern workplaces, there’s a larger generational challenge at hand. Companies today are dealing with four generations in the workforce –– each with preferred channels of communications. Instant messaging, a phone call, email, videoconferencing, or the good old-fashioned taking a walk over to a colleague’s desk are all in play.
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Customization has become paramount to productivity. Customer IT leaders will never get all employees to agree on desktops versus laptops or landlines versus cell phones, so it’s time for you to help let them choose. Enable people to work smarter by giving them flexible technology that is situated to support collaboration, from the baby-boomer manager to the Gen Z intern.
3. Bring Flexibility to the Forefront: Work is no longer a place we go from 9 to 5, rather something we do. A recent survey by my company, Fuze, found that people desperately want …