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Why Millennials prefer face to face communication


Posted on: Friday August 11, 2017

How one on one communication can improve employee engagement in Millennials

We all know the stereotypes associated with millennials that are hitting the headlines. They are antisocial, selfish, glued to their phones… the list goes on. There are lots of articles out there looking at how best to communicate with your millennial staff to get the most out of them at work. What if we told you that the best way to communicate with your millennial workforce is through face to face? That’s right- face to face. Not Snapchat, not Slack or Twitter, old fashioned tech free face to face. Although it is clear that millennials live most of their lives through social media and instant messaging, in actual fact they much prefer to speak to people face to face (especially at work) (Meetings Mean Business, 2015). Millennials are fluent in digital and were the pioneers of social media. Smartphones aren’t a novelty to them but face to face is. We explore what this means for you and how you can utilise one on one communication to improve employee engagement in your younger staff who are taking over the world of work.

It means: They will speak up

As digital natives, it means that Generation Y’s will always expect the best in technology. A desktop benefits platform won’t cut it for them when they expect an innovative app. IF something is wrong, they will tell you. Some may think that it comes across as cockiness or confrontational when in reality, millennials are looking for a dialogue. They want to be spoken to on the same level as other member of staff and are confident in making sure that their voices are heard. If you ask how they are feeling, Millennials will tell you. This is a great advantage to Senior Management as they can really understand what is working and what isn’t in terms of their benefits strategy. Whether it is a quick chat or a pulse survey, millennials will appreciate if their opinions are heard, especially when it comes to shaping their benefits programme.

It means: They expect constant communication

Thanks to the digital age, millennials are in constant communication with family and friends, sometimes even extending to colleagues. The instant messaging generation like to be part of a community both online and offline. If your organisation doesn’t offer this sense of communication then they are unlikely to be engaged at work. Communication is key and keeping millennials informed can be as easy as a town hall or one to one meetings. Taking the time to build a community within the workplace will be great for your organisation. Tailoring benefits communications to staff will make them happier which is good for business. If you take the time to have a conversation rather than just ping an email, the chances are that younger staff will appreciate it more than the go to communications channels. Research shows that happier staff are more productive so when all it takes is a revamp of your face to face communications, it seems like a no brainer.

It means: It is not as easy as you think!

Did you really think that all you needed to do was make sure you chat to millennials often and all of your problems would be solved? Unfortunately, it is not that easy. Millennials are complex and it is going to take a lot more than a face to face catch up to keep them engaged. What organisations need is technology. That’s right, even know they love face to face, there is no denying that smartphones are a massive part of millennials lives and this isn’t going to change any time soon. Technology doesn’t need to be a hindrance, it can actually enhance your benefits. After all, people spend up to 4 hours a day on their phone (ref), organisations need to use this to their advantage. A combination of face to face and technology is the best way to engage millennial staff. This is what we do at Personal Group. We send our team of Engagement Executives out to our clients to sit down and explain their benefits face to face and the results speak for themselves - people like both! There are so many insights into the world of millennials but when it comes to communications it is fairly straight forward. Face to face + technology = engagement. If you make sure that you use offline communications and utilise technology through a benefits platform and app then the equation is simple and the results will be impressive. Happier, engaged millennial staff who will be more productive.  

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