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  • Ruby Nahal

Is your workplace ready for Millennials?

I have a friend that worked remotely for a brief 2 months with a company based out of another city. This was a great company, paying her a six figures salary, gave her autonomy to choose her own projects and a potential promotion to a CTO position in the next 6 months with another 25k raise. But she still chose to leave. When I asked her why she left, she explained with the following bullet point reply in our chat window.

Their phone system was so ancient, it didn’t integrate with any of their applications and she had to pick up the phone and dial a number manually. Ugghh!!

She went on to say, they made her wear beige and grey shirts with their logo instead of a cool tag line. So 1990s!!

What especially drove her crazy that they had no real time collaboration platform. They used email to communicate in real time and actually preferred that.

She had to use client VPN every morning to connect to her business tools. I mean really! Its 2018 people! They had no remote employee strategy. And VPN is not a remote employee strategy.

They still preferred to go through the tasks manually instead of introducing business intelligence because they didn’t trust it.

And worse of all, this was a technology company who built technology solutions for businesses. She said the reason she left is all these things and many more basically came down to the fact that working for this company would pull her back and slow her down. She would rather work for a company that pays less but is open to embracing changes.

This friend of mine is a classic case of millennials. The next three to five years, millennials are expected to make up over half of the workforce! Although many enterprises have started embracing the next generation technology tools to bridge the gap between the older and younger generation workforce in the teams, many still fail to realize how the millennials are bringing out the generational change in the workforce. The millennials are the first generation to grow up with technology always available and accessible to them. Often, they were the ones who had to explain it to their parents. They always have used technology to set themselves apart among their peer groups as well — always hunting for the latest tech gadget.

The Challenge

The biggest challenges that managers are facing are not so much managing the remote workforce and the workplace etiquette but the ability to hire and retain millennials in the workforce. Now that millennials enter the workforce, they are expecting cutting-edge technology. In fact, 59% said that employer-provisioned, state-of-the-art technology was important to them when considering a job.

Many feel that their potential future employer does not understand their use of technology or is held back by outdated workstyles. If your organization is pursuing server-hosted virtual desktops, this might be a great option for many millennials who might expect the latest MacBook instead of a windows desktop station.

Powered by technology

Addressing the technology component early on in the hiring process and explaining the benefits (e.g., work from anywhere, even your favorite coffee shop or a hip co-working space downtown) will dissipate any preconceived notions of outdated technology and will help you hire and retain younger employees.

While some millennials expect their future employer to supply their laptops and phones, many would rather be able to bring their own devices. Now this does not mean that every employee can come with their personal laptop and carry around sensitive corporate data, access the company-internal intranet without any restrictions, or install any application they feel like. Enterprises must enforce strict security and compliance policies.

However, it is possible for IT to align the seemingly contradicting goals of providing more flexibility while tightening security by hosting desktops on servers to provide employees safe access from personal PCs, MACs, and tablets.

Will the future be bright?

Everything is much more dynamic and fast faced these days. If you lose touch with information even for a second, you are at the risk of falling behind. Irrespective of the long term aims and ambitions of an individual company, the ability to attract and retain millennial will be a vital step in achieving it.

If you are planning your technology strategy or improvement on your current infrastructure, you will have to keep the demands and needs of your changing workforce in mind. Otherwise, you may struggle to hire and retain young talent.

At Cloudanize, we help organizations embrace the next generation workspaces which will help the organization become more attractive to the millennial generation

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