Millennials' Expectations from the Shift in Internal Communication

 

We have seen how there is a paradigm shift, in many senses, in the way we communicate at the workplace. Driving that change from the front is the millennial generation. When a person belonging to the latest generation joins a company, they do not appreciate generic company-wide communications. Such one-way communications are more likely to be intentionally overlooked and neglected by them and to some extend some of the previous generations as well, who are following the trend. However, the millennials entered the working population roughly at the beginning of the century. That means they have been integrated and spread across all echelons of the corporate world in the last 20 years and they are in the Executive positions now.

So what are the things they are going to implement and the things they can expect?

 

1.    Connect with colleagues conveniently regardless of the time and location.

Millennials are the first generation who are digital natives, who feel at home on the internet, according to Gallup, and that is an empirical fact. Gadgets are an extension of these individuals and you need to build robust internal communication methodologies to connect and engage with them and keep the employees focussed and motivated. In other words, you need to include digital communication tools such as Slack, iMessage, Teams or even WhatsApp in your official communication methods along with Email.

 

It is about choosing the right communication channel, may it be through a news feed similar to social media feeds such as internal employee-only social media platforms. If your workplace is not digital yet, your intranet is outdated and belongs in the Stone Age, as per their standards.

 

2.    More collaborations and leading new ideas at the workplace.

If you ask any one of the millennials what they want most from their work, most of them would say that they want to make an impact in the company and they are not able to do it. They are eager to make their presence known and contribute to the success of the company in whatever way possible. They want to be at the forefront of developing new ideas, implementation of solutions based on those ideas and improvement of internal processes.

 

Furthermore, they expect the company to provide them with the tools and have a culture that aids them to collaborate with their colleagues. If you fail to develop a mobile-first approach to employee communications that enhances collaboration, the millennials will become demotivated and will move on to other companies, and maybe even be poached by your competition. 

 

3.    Feeling heard and having an impact on the business's bottom line

As mentioned in the previous point, millennials want to feel heard and be included in decisions made of consequence. They are more than happy to be involved in the internal communication channels. They want to be able to react to the communications that are addressed to them.

 

What you need to do, as part of company management is to allow them to write posts that can be shared with their team or even the entire organization, or at least let them contribute to internal communications. They do not necessarily have to be experts in content creation. Short videos made on their mobile phones will also suffice.

 

However, what is the role of HR in all of this? Good question. HR is the overarching department or function that guides all of it and nurtures a culture of openness in the company. Culture is a phenomenal factor that dictates an organization’s identity and shapes the workplace environment. It is the responsibility of HR to take care of the culture even when circumstances have forced the employees to work remotely.