Workplace Slideshow: Engaging Millennial IT Workers: Rethink Everything

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-30-2010

Go Where They Are

Millennials, and even some Gen X workers, don't have landline phones. They don't use newsgroups. They're communicating via social networks, Instant Message, Twitter and smartphones. This is where you need to engage them.

Go Where They Are

Embrace Text-Messaging

Talking on the phone is passé. It's reserved for conversations that are considered too complex for a quick text message, and even then the call has to be arranged in advance via text or IM. Need a fast response? Send a text. If you're a BlackBerry enterprise, use BlackBerry Messenger.

Embrace Text-Messaging

E-Mail Is Old School

For younger workers, it's a relic. Stick with IM. It makes communication speedy and appeals to workers who have grown up with such services.

E-Mail Is Old School

Collaboration is Key

Millennials prefer teamwork, according to the TEKsystems survey. Boomers and Gen X workers might like autonomy, but Millennials are social and want to bounce around ideas. Bring collaboration into the IT mix.

Collaboration is Key

Expect Expertise

Baby Boomers, and many Gen X workers, learned what they know about computers while on the job. Smartphones were a sci-fi pipe dream when these folks entered the workforce. They have a tech learning curve that simply doesn't exist for the "Digital Natives."

Expect Expertise

Give Them An iPhone

BlackBerry is ideal from an enterprise perspective, but young workers want the latest, greatest smartphone, and they want to upgrade often. They expect to do more with it than e-mail and voice calling; for them, the smartphone is a full-fledged computing device.

Give Them An iPhone

A Little Freedom Goes A Long Way

Millennials want to check their Facebook news feed and talk with friends over IM while at work. Set corporate policies that give them some leeway and you'll all be better off for it.

A Little Freedom Goes A Long Way

You are Renting Their Time

Baby Boomers joined a company after college and expected to be there until retirement. Millennials job hop. Establish an institutional knowledge repository that lives on as the talent pool churns.

You are Renting Their Time

Legacy Hardware = Bad Morale

Please, don't give your Millennial workers that old Dell laptop that has been passed around the company for years. They want to be wowed by the newest, fastest, lightest devices you can offer.

Legacy Hardware = Bad Morale

Show Me The Flex-Time

Money isn't the only motivating factor for Millennials. They expect a fair wage, but they also covet a work/life balance, according to the TEKsystems study. Do away with the old time-clock mentality. Give them time off, have flexible work hours, and offer work-from-home options.

Show Me The Flex-Time