Are you at work right now? Take a look around: Swing by the kitchen to refill your cup of coffee, look into the boardroom or walk the office hallways. Notice anything in particular? Like many businesses these days, do millennials (aged 25 to 35) comprise the majority of your staff? These Generation Yers—while they can be the bane of a lagging business—represent a boon for businesses that are innovative and forward-thinking.

 

Millennials, having grown up in the computer age, bring with them an entirely new way of communicating that involves less siloed, individual processes and more collaborative, team-based ones that leverage modern technology tools like Web portals and mobile applications. Communication and collaboration are certainly most impacted by this generational shift. Just consider the fact that Facebook last month announced it would begin testing its latest enterprise collaboration tool called “Facebook at Work.” Facebook itself was unimaginable 15 years ago, let alone such a development  for work-related purposes.

 

The workplace has irrevocably changed whether business leaders like it or not. As such, they should embrace the change if they want to retain top talent, maintain strong revenue and, one day soon, cultivate a new crop of decision makers to take their place.

 

If you haven’t reassessed your enterprise collaboration strategy, we suggest you do so immediately. If you’re still on the fence, consider the fact that millennials:

 

  • Crave collaboration: A huge problem business leaders face today involves embedding communication and collaboration into their employees’ day-to-day tasks, applications and workflows. This is something that millennials inherently want; having grown up in the digital age, such things as email, social media and other tech-savvy ways of working are in their nature. For millennials, this collaborative environment is more than a preference—it’s a way of life.

 

  • Value meaningful work over money: When asked which job factors they viewed as important, millennials listed “meaningful work” over high pay, according to a “Maximizing Millennials in the Workplace” study conducted by UNC. One-quarter also noted a “sense of accomplishment” as being important. Conversely, the vast majority of older-generation workers listed “high pay” as their No. 1 priority. These findings seem to validate what we know about millennials; employees who value the purpose and impact of their work are probably more likely to be vested in collaborative, intuitive methods that enable them to better do their jobs.

 

Currently, a little over one-third of the workforce is comprised of millennials. That number is expected to grow to nearly 50 percent by 2020, according to UNC’s study. So … how do you plan to advance your enterprise collaboration strategy to meet these workers’ needs?