Call them what you will, Millennials, the Millennial Generation, Generation Y or the Net Generation are the future of our workplace, a growing and very important part of today’s talent pool. In fact, according to American company Bronto, a worldwide provider of cloud-based commerce marketing automation platforms , Millennials number a staggering 79 million and will soon surpass Baby Boomers as the largest age group. Furthermore, when asked what makes their generation unique, Millennials rank “technology use” as number one whereas, in stark contrast, their Baby Boomer colleagues claim “work ethic” to be their most defining characteristic.
Small wonder then that the influx of Millennials is driving companies to assess and re-evaluate their approach to people management and nowhere is this more evident than in the contact center. Contact centers are challenging but highly rewarding places to work. As the first point of call for many customers, they are a critical component of an organization’s business operation and the agents who work in them have an increasingly vital role to play in creating an excellent service experience and establishing strong brand loyalty.
Make employee engagement top priority
What employers need to understand is that Millennials put work/life balance and social responsibility ahead of their careers. Take their use of social media for example. Statistics from consumer research giant Nielsen reveal that 51% of 25-34 year-olds regularly take time out of the work day to use social networking in the office and that this section of the population typically logs 20-21 hours each month on social media.
Millennials want to feel part of their community, whether at work or at play. The best way to engage with them in contact centers is to create a work environment where agents feel involved and a part of everything from the company mission, to their fellow team members and the customers they serve. This is a generation of workers that will leave a company if they are not constantly acknowledged, rewarded and engaged.
Many organizations are realizing that to have highly motivated and engaged employees they will need to make changes to how they operate. Gamification, agent self-service and workforce management flexibility will bring out the best in employees including the Millennials.
Top tips for keeping Millennials happy in the workplace
At Teleopti, we have sponsored a white paper by leading independent research, advisory and consulting firm DMG which outlined a list of eight criteria, essential to helping employers engage successfully with their Millennial staff.
- Making a difference – Millennials expect to be in positions that allow them to make a difference in the business right away. The concept of “paying ones dues” or gaining experience first is a thing of the past.
- Social responsibility – Millennials want to work for a company that cares, “has a heart” and gives back to the community.
- Collaborative job environment – many Millennials are accustomed to having their opinions heard, regardless of the value of their input.
- Think global – Millennials have grown up in a world without geographical limitations. They understand the concept of a global economy and appreciate diversity.
- Technical savvy – Millennials were raised on technology and are comfortable with it.
- Work/life balance – Millennials will work hard during the hours that they are paid, but once their shift is over, they have other priorities and interests besides work.
- Proper compensation – Millennials want to be fairly compensated for the work they do and expect frequent raises and/or bonuses.
- Constant recognition, rewards and promotions – Millennials have been raised in a world where they have received constant feedback. They expect the same from their jobs: constant recognition for effort accompanied by rewards and promotions.
Baby Boomers beware it’s time to adjust your approach to people management, take the bull by the horns, follow these eight simple steps and be rewarded with motivated, loyal staff who will help you get the most out of your business.