Dec 27, 2017

Four Ways to Harness Millennials’ Technical Expertise

Millennials currently make up more than 30% of the American workforce. In 2015, they surpassed Generation X to become the group that represents the largest share of the United States workforce. By 2025, they are projected to make up a full 75% of the total working adult population.

In this post we’ll cover a few of the ways that smart companies can harness millennial workers’ technological capabilities to get the most out of this segment of their workforce.

1. Focus on Tech

One big area where companies can make a difference is in the type of technologies they employ. As Gartner contributor Kasey Panetta put it, “Since millennials will, and do, make up a growing percentage of the workplace, it is important for IT to consider their technology use when making technology decisions for the enterprise.”

Jeff York of Paycom put it well in a recent piece in Forbes, when he wrote that “Technology has become completely unified into the everyday life of millennials. They no longer ask for sufficient technology at their jobs; they expect it. Often, this expectancy has been painted as entitlement, but what millennial workers really want are the tools they need to do their job efficiently.”

Indeed, one of the best things that companies can do to make sure they are making the most of their millennial workers’ talent and technological sophistication is simply making sure they have the right tools and technology to get their jobs done effectively.

2. Optimize for Mobile

As a generation that has grown up with smartphones, millennials possess the tremendous capability to harness mobile technology to work more efficiently while on the go.

Millennials are the first generation that can truly be considered “digital natives.” In a 2016 Gallup report titled “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” researchers determined that “While the vast majority of Americans surf the Web from a desktop or laptop computer at home or work, 85% of millennials access the Internet from their phones — more than all other generations.” This comfort with mobile devices gives millennials a flexibility that older generations don’t always have, making them more accessible and able to do work from anywhere, at any time. It also means, however, that companies should place added emphasis on providing tools that work just as well on mobile devices as on more traditional computers.

3. Opt for the Cloud

Millennials’ propensity for technology can lead to tremendous efficiency on the part of your millennial workers, but it can also breed dependence on the tools and interfaces with which millennials are most familiar. In that same Gallup poll, the researchers found that “Millennials rely on the Internet for far more than news and information. For instance, at least eight in 10 report using it to manage their finances, pay bills, shop online, and watch or listen to online content in the past 30 days. At least half use it for reading blogs, researching health issues, or researching or booking travel plans. Smaller percentages use it for taking classes, participating in online auctions and other activities.” Put another way, if it’s not digital and online, millennials probably won’t gravitate toward it.

This places a strong incentive for business leaders to opt for systems and technologies that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time. Rather than tethering their workers to their desks and working hours, then, they can take full advantage of millennials’ “always on” mentality and never deny them the ability to log in and get some work done during a moment of inspiration — even if that moment happens to strike at 2:00 in the morning.

4. Optimize for Different Work Environments

According to Gartner, millennials are twice as likely as their older coworkers to do work in public spaces and non-office settings. Because of this, companies would do well to implement technologies with enhanced communications and messaging features, allowing workers to communicate with each other efficiently, even when not physically located in the same place. For a large segment of the modern workforce, cutting-edge tools are no longer a nice-to-have, but an expectation.

At FourKites, we’re on a mission to bring the cloud-based, mobile experience to supply chain technology — in the most intuitive and accessible way possible. Learn more about how FourKites is the cutting-edge visibility solution you’ve been looking for by contacting us.