Technology has changed our lives and workplaces dramatically. It all started with punch cards (for those old enough to remember them), then mainframe computing and then desktop computers for those special enough to need them. Fast forward to today, most people carry no less than 3 data devices with them at all times; a tablet, smartphone, and laptop. Especially our millennial workforce.
Millennials cannot remember a time without these devices. You can now order a pizza in 2 clicks on your phone or see who is at your front door from thousands of miles away. User experience has become ubiquitous. Instant feedback is now the norm. Lives are judged by pictures and posts on social media.
Times have changed.
So, why are we still using so many processes and systems built 20 years ago? Why is there still so much repetition in tasks? (eg. filling out paper forms, scanning and uploading the form in one place then manually recording the data somewhere else)
Over the years we’ve automated processes, but in today’s modern mobile, instant satisfaction environment, are those processes even still relevant? What efficiencies can we put into our processes and systems to make things run even smoother?
You should be asking yourself, “Is this the most efficient way to complete this task?” Not, “Will they be upset if I change their job function?” Lucky for you, millennials are better to adapt to disruption. And they love collaboration and decisions by consensus. They want to be able to give suggestions and input on how to make processes more efficient. They want to feel they are really being heard. So ask them! “How would you do this better?”
Find comfort in your discomfort. Discard the status quo! The days of simply telling your employees to do something because that’s the way you have always done it are over. Modernize, engage your employees, retain your workforce, and cultivate loyalty for your brand and business. How could your business possibly move forward otherwise?
Modernization means more than just automating outdated processes. It might mean looking at using technology in new ways. Your millennial workforce knows this. Their fresh views can be quite helpful. To millennials, technology comes naturally so use their comfort to start conversations about modernizing and streamlining your processes.
Yes, change can be scary, especially when you are changing people’s jobs. And yes, some people can be resistant to change, but positive reassurance and giving them an active role in what is changing can lead to stronger employee engagement and loyalty in the long run.
So the next time you’re putting together a committee for change, consider reaching out to your millennial workforce.
Their insight on digital transformation, in human resources, or in any department for that matter, might surprise you.