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Millennial Expectations

March 4, 2014

Guest blog post by Kristen Wylie, Product Marketing Manager at Kronos.

Millennials – those born after 1980 – now represent 36 percent of the US workforce, and will represent nearly half (46 percent) of all US workers by 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As researchers at the UNC Keenan-Flagler Business School recently concluded, “HR practices and policies designed to attract, develop and retain this vast cohort must change to reflect this generation’s work – and life – expectations.” Is your workforce management solution prepared to meet the expectations of this generation?

Mobile Workforce Management

There’s no shortage of stats about this generation’s reliance on mobile technology:

  • 83 percent of millennials sleep with their phones every night (Pew Research Center study)
  • 74 percent of millennial workers have used a smartphone for work purposes in the last 12 months, compared with 37 percent of Baby Boomers (IT trade association CompTIA survey)
  • 50 percent of millennials said they would rather give up their sense of smell than their tech gadgets (!) (McCann WorldGroup study)

mobile-screen-capture-2This tech-savvy generation has grown up with instant access to information.  As a recent article in Wired magazine notes, millennials are used to flexibility, openness and instantly connecting with people regardless of their location – and they’re not used to technology constraints.

What does this mean as you’re selecting a new workforce management solution to replace your aging time clocks or paper-based schedules? Mobile workforce management is no longer an optional part of your workforce management solution; mobile is a must have for millennial workers. Organizations of all sizes have mobile managers and remote employees who want immediate, instant avenues to their workforce management solution. Wherever they may be.

Mobile capabilities must be easy to use and engage employees of all generations by providing them with immediate access to the information they need, which means less digging for answers to administrative issues and more time spent on work activities that contribute to your organization’s success. The Workforce Ready Mobile application is a standard component of the Kronos Workforce Ready solution. Employees can punch in and out from their mobile devices in real time (with “geofencing” to validate punch location); they can view accrual balances and request time off; and they can even view their schedule or pay statements. Communication between employees and managers improves, and everyday workforce management tasks get resolved quickly and accurately — whenever and wherever.

Workforce Collaboration

HIMMS1It’s no secret that the millennial generation is also heavily engaged with social media. For millennials, social media platforms are a standard approach to seek and share information.

HR industry analyst Josh Bersin commented that social tools have “disrupted and infiltrated every major HR process.” So does this mean your organization has maxed the opportunities social collaboration can offer workforce management?

Likely not. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, but very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, McKinsey found that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises.

In other words, despite the fact that older generations may view social media as a personal tool (or worse, a waste of time in the workplace), the millennials who view social media as a workplace tool for collaboration are primed to take advantage of enormous productivity potential in the workplace.

HIMMS2Kronos brought this theme of workforce collaboration to the center stage in our booth at the annual HIMSS healthcare IT conference in Orlando last week, showcasing not only our mobile solutions but an innovative workforce collaboration tool that taps into the social media world that millennials have come to expect (and demand) in the workplace.

Millennials crave collaboration, teamwork, and an unstructured flow of information at all levels. Mobile, cloud and social collaboration tools are the norm for millennials, and they’re accustomed to being connected anywhere, at any time. Meeting millennial expectations requires evolving the way your workforce collaborates and communicates.

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