We need to stay ahead of the technological curve with our internal communication techniques in the workplace.
While watching the evening news last night, I heard the following statistic: 1 out of every 5 people in the world has a smartphone.
The reason this statistic made it into world news is because of the release of Apple’s new iPhones: the 5c and the 5s. Apple set another record yet again, selling 9 million of these mini super computers in just 3 days.
And basically, yes, the iPhone 5s really does have the strength of a full-sized super computer that you can hold in the palm of your hand. (Maybe the next smartphone case designs should come with little super-hero capes.)
Entering the Age of Super Communication
With so many of us walking around holding tiny super computers pressed to our faces, I think we can safely say we’ve entered the era of SUPER COMMUNICATION. Never before has it been this easy to instantly access and connect with people and information all over the world.
Whether you are of the opinion that technology has made communication better than ever or that it’s just making us all dumber, one fact is indisputable: technology has revolutionized communication, and it is now faster and cheaper to communicate with people and access data anytime, anywhere.
That being said, this revolution in personal communication has also transferred to the business world. The smartest businesses stay on top of the latest technology trends and implement the newest tech tools and practices in the workplace to improve internal communication between their employees and clients.
Meeting the Expectations of Our Workforce
For example, human resource departments have major challenges they are currently facing and will continue to face through the next decade. One of these challenges is how to retain and reward the next generation of employees who will be (and are currently) replacing the Baby Boomers: Millennials.
Because of the communication revolution, millennials (a.k.a. digital natives) expect to be socially connected to everyone and everything all the time. This expectation not only includes their personal lives but also extends to their workplace environments.
HR managers are acknowledging the importance of more interactive environments where workers can engage with each other through internal social networks and access real-time information, feedback, and resources. And, of course, the way to develop these interactive environments is with technology.
Research supports the necessity of interaction and connection in the workplace for the mind of the millennial.
In How Millennials Work Differently from Everyone Else on forbes.com, Jacquelyn Smith shares the results of a survey conducted by Harris Interactive for CareerBuilder.
When managers and workers in the 25 to 34 age group and those 55 and older were asked how they most like to communicate at work, the results were as follows:
Ages 55+: 60%
Ages 25 to 34: 55%
Ages 55+: 28%
Ages 25 to 34: 35%
Ages 55+: 12%
Ages 25 to 34: 10%
The younger generation seems more comfortable communicating and collaborating with non-traditional methods. In Three Reasons You Need to Adopt a Millennial Mindset Regardless Of Your Age, Jeanne Meister discusses why tapping into the Millennial psyche is crucial for our careers:
"Millennial preferences [include] using the latest social technologies and innovation platforms to communicate and collaborate on the job. For example, one of the findings of the Future Workplace Multiple Generations @ Work Survey of 1,189 knowledge workers and 150 managers found that Millennials value the opportunity to share their ideas and creativity at work.
In fact, the ability of an employer to provide on-going opportunities to share openly and collaborate came up as the fourth most frequently mentioned criteria for seeking a best-of-breed employer (after workplace flexibility, compensation and career progression)."
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Because the current and future workforce will be mostly comprised of Millennials, employers need to stay ahead of the technological curve to ensure maximum engagement, productivity, and efficiency from their employees.
And, with 1 in 5 people in the world classified as smartphone owners, it’s time we tap into these digital skills and harness them for the workplace by providing our workers with the internal communication tech tools they need and expect.