All over the world, the corporate workforce is changing dramatically. It is estimated that by 2025, 75 percent of all workers will have been born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s — a group collectively known as Millennials. This shift is already having a profound impact on the relationship between employers and employees, especially in the area of corporate communications. Millennials are tech-savvy, opinionated, and influential — and, as Deloitte reported in its annual Millennial Survey, they have “big demands and high expectations”.
One of Deloitte’s key findings is that Millennials passionately want to work for innovative organizations that have a positive impact on society. However, two thirds of those surveyed view a corporate culture in which management is reluctant to take risks to innovate as a serious problem. Further, these respondents feel that poor communications channels pose one of the most serious impediments to building an innovative culture. In other words, corporate communications professionals are facing a crisis: a technology-astute, highly motivated, creative workforce increasingly disillusioned with their choice of employer because internal communications methods are a barrier to real innovation.
Millennials grew up with the Internet and digital media; therefore, they expect their workplace to embrace and leverage technology just as they do. Not only does that mean giving a key role to social media, video, and big data but also that the apps and technologies Millennials use every day have to be part of the mix. Corporate communicators will have to explore and implement internal messaging solutions that welcome Instagram, Snapchat, and the other widely used personal communication apps of today as well as tomorrow.
Corporate communications professionals and integrators alike have to take a leadership role in developing and implementing solutions that resonate with an evolving workforce. Millennials expect their employers to be ahead of the curve and to demonstrate that they are innovative and forward-thinking — and this requires organizations to continually investigate new and dynamic ways to convey information and reach key constituents.
Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media [www.x2omedia.com], a full-service provider of technology, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at [email protected]