WANTED: Employer with great reputation, culture and benefits.
ABOUT ME: GSOH, autonomous and love to make a difference. Would like to hear from well-located employers with plenty of opportunities…
Is this a wish list for millennials, or simply what everyone wants from their employer? And are millennials really so different? After all, there’s a mountain of (often contradictory) information and opinion out there that would have you believe they are – and that engaging them at work is a particular challenge for employers.
We wanted to dig a little bit deeper, so we spent an evening with a group of Londoners aged 18 – 30. We talked about how they chose their employer, what they expect from their organisations and we talked a lot about communication – but as the UK’s leading employee engagement and communication agency, we would, wouldn’t we?
We asked: what’s the best way to access and share information at work?
There was one clear winner here – face-to-face. (So far, so… non-millennial) followed by online, social, print and environmental. While our millennials were markedly at ease with digital/social communication, their responses reflected what we’d expect to hear from most employees, regardless of their date of birth.
We asked: how can your employers communicate more effectively?
Millennials want you to make it easy for them to find information. The user experience is vital – it has to be intuitive, simple and put the audience in control. They like bite-sized chunks of information, supported by visuals and images. But don’t gloss over the tough stuff: they demand context, but they like to pick and choose when they engage with it. So don’t force it – put them in control and remember it’s a two-way street.
We asked: how would you change the communication channels at your company?
Millennials want to be engaged. They prefer face-to-face channels because it gives them the opportunity to ask questions and challenge assumptions. So don’t assume that digital is always best – the old ways still work for the new workforce. Segment ruthlessly: making big picture items relevant to teams or even individuals builds engagement and connections.
We asked: how can companies shift communication from ‘enlightening’ to ‘engaging’?
Here’s one place where our millennials played to type. They want instant access to information in real-time. They’ve no patience for lags and lengthy governance processes, especially if the information is already ‘out there’ (if it is, they’ll find it before you share it). So trust your people: be upfront and get ahead of the news curve.
Another top tip is to create communications with standout. Repeating information over and over again turns millennials off. Consign wallpaper to the bucket of history.
So to summarise:
When it comes to communication, it seems our millennials aren’t all that different after all. They want the same things the rest of your audience want: carefully segmented, real-time, two-way communication that puts them in control, with a strong preference for face-to-face. Just like everyone else.
Get in touch
At Home, we change employees’ lives by putting people at the heart of everything we do. We create movements that captivate, energise and inspire people, from millennials to boomers and everyone in-between. So if you’d like to find out more, join me for a cold-pressed juice or a soy-chai half-fat latte and I’ll be there quicker than you can say ‘I remember when all of this was fields.’.