4 Ways Millennials Communicate & Collaborate Differently (Hint: They're Totally Into Cloud Collaboration!)
by Andrew Mullen on August 6, 2016
Millennials are the grandchildren of Baby Boomers, sandwiched between Generation X and Generation Z. While there's no set birth years from which Generation Y, or Millennials, came from, it's typically considered to be roughly 1980 to 2000. This generation is now ready to enter their peak earning years, making them a prominent feature of the evolving workforce.
Millennials are the first generation of true digital natives, growing up in an era of rapid change, and this generation is also huge -- there are more of them than even the Baby Boomers. Millennials are socially connected, are strong supporters of the sharing economy, and are okay with putting off marriage and children until they're good and ready. What do they expect from their employers? Here's how Millennial workers communicate and use cloud collaboration differently than other generations.
1. Millennials Are Naturals with Digital
Millennials are the largest generation in the history of the human race, including the massive Baby Boom generation. This group is just now heading into their peak earning years.
Millennials don't think in terms of "will there be mobile access" or "is that available online, because to them, digital just is. They've grown up with cell phones and the Internet. They are far more tech savvy than previous generations, which is both good and bad. It's good because they need very little in the way of instruction and training on technology. While their parents first had to learn computers and then try to master the software and devices particular to their field, Generation Y already knows how it all works. Since software is generally far more intuitive nowadays, this just might be the cheapest, fastest generation to train yet.
2. Millennials Demand Modern Technologies
The bad side of a digital native generation is that they are intolerant of outdated or inadequate technologies. While their parents chuckle at the scene in Office Space when the guys drag the printer out into the field and beat it to pieces, Millennials would never hire on with a company with such pitiful technology in the first place. In fact, the type and quality of technology they will be working on is just a bit less important to them than their pay and what kind of flexibility the workplace offers.
3. Millennials Expect Cloud Collaboration Tools to Be Specific & Functional
Digital and mobile technologies aren't second nature to them: it's first nature. They grew up with it and expect it. That means they don't want to work with old, outdated technologies. They expect things like cloud collaboration tools to be a given in their workplaces.
Hence, they expect the tools to be well suited to the job they are expected to do. They are looking for specialized tools to help them do specific jobs easier and more efficiently. For example, they expect their cloud collaboration tools to allow them to communicate across teams, share important files and documents instantly, and track ongoing projects without a lot of hassle and forethought. The idea of files and communication not being cloud based never occurs to Generation Y, because it's the most natural way to provide easy access to workers across an organization, including when they are away from their desks at work.
4. Millennials Don't Want to Be Stereotyped, Either
While collectively, Millennials tend to share these similar characteristics, they also don't want to be stereotyped. In most ways, they are like and want much of the same things every generation has -- reasonable pay for a job well done, flexibility to pursue a life outside of the confines of work, the right tools to do their job, and the potential for upward mobility, either within the same organization or among various employers as they make their way up the ladder.
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