From small start-ups to global corporations, business leaders are struggling to attract and (more importantly) retain millennial talent. A sizable portion of the discussion around Millennials in the workforce makes them sound like an abnormal group; one that will eventually come around to the “traditional” way of doing business. To adopt this mindset is not only bad for business, it also flies in the face of existing facts and statistics.
The Millennial generation is not just a portion of the workforce; they are the next generation of the workforce. Business leaders who recognize and capitalize on this fact will be primed and ready to break ahead of the competition.
The numbers don’t lie
Projections show that by 2025, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce. Yet at the same time, Millennial Branding reports show that 45% of companies have a high rate of turnover with millennial employees, at twice that rate compared to older generations. Ignoring the long term for a moment, the immediate costs of millennial turnover are hardly trivial: 87% of organizations report costs between $15,000 and $25,000 to replace a millennial employee. When combined with the fact that 60% of millennials stay at a job for less than 3 years, the costs continue to skyrocket.
And that’s not even taking into account the fact that 40% of companies employ at least 50 millennials. The numbers don’t lie: companies that ignore the disproportionate amount of millennial job loss they face on a yearly basis do so at their own risk, with immediate consequences in both head count and dollars spent.
So the million dollar question (or, more accurately, the $25,000-per-employee question) is: How does an organization fight the high turnover rate of its millennial employees? The answer may surprise you.
What matters to Millennials
Much has been written about the importance of employee engagement and corporate culture when it comes to attracting and retaining millennial talent. A spot on a national “best places to work” list is often a central focus for any company’s recruitment strategy. While the importance of a forward-thinking corporate culture cannot be understated, many studies point to a different element of a workplace that speaks to many millennials: the level of technology being used.
Millennials are by no means a singular, easy-to-define demographic, but a common thread uniting most of them is an affinity towards technology; specifically, the latest technology. If an organization actively courts millennials with promises of a modern workplace, only to present them with a desktop PC running Windows 7 (or even Windows XP in some extreme cases), it sends a clear message to the millennial employee: Your workplace doesn’t care about adapting with the times. It’s lip service, nothing more.
The balancing act asked of many millennials — being technologically fluent and cutting-edge in their personal lives, but forced to make do with significantly lower levels of technology in the workplace — eventually takes its toll, and is quite probably a key factor of their high turnover rate. Every employee wants to feel like they are being given all the tools for success in their job, and an employer’s failure to keep their technology reasonably up-to-date systematically limits the skills a millennial employee has to offer.
This cascading effect can be twofold; the employee will not only spend work hours struggling against technology that has not been industry standard for years, and the unique skills they could bring to the metaphorical table are rendered all but useless. For example, a millennial with an acute understanding of social media strategy will be of little use to a company with a sparsely-updated Twitter feed, and an employee with insight into developing for multi-touch devices is underserved when their daily work is done on an old laptop.
A global generational study conducted by NextGen offers several insights for employers eager to attract millennials, but an especially salient point is the idea of leveraging technology to entice a tech-savvy employee. And the most direct way to overhaul your company’s relationship with technology is by adopting more modern hardware across-the-board for all employees.
Technology influences perception
The technology a company uses, both in-office and “in the field” on sales calls and client visits, has a direct impact on how that organization is perceived by prospective employees and potential clients. Traditional laptops are the industry standard because of their utility and functionality, but touch screen tablet devices are a much closer parallel to ubiquitous smartphones. Equipping your employees with both can be an exercise in redundancy and wasted IT dollars, so a device combining the virtues of a laptop and a tablet would cover all prospective bases.
Following this logic, consider adopting two-in-one notebooks and tablets (AKA “hybrid ultramobiles”) as the standard device in your business. In one device, all of the above pain points are addressed. A modern hybrid device runs on the latest Windows OS and therefore instantly interfaces with any SaaS and cloud apps currently being utilized. The dual interface has traditional laptop inputs for employees more comfortable with that, while also converting into a tablet for any employees who want to take advantage of it. By covering the widest range of experiences, hybrid devices become a valued tool in the millennial arsenal, as opposed to a burden in an outdated office environment. Finally, IT managers no longer have to choose between assigning a laptop or a tablet (or spend the extra budget to assign both to an employee).
The key to enforcing this change on a company-wide level is to understand that adopting modern, attractive technology isn’t a gimmick; it’s a legitimate way to speak the language of millennials in a meaningful fashion, and it will replace your existing laptop infrastructure wholesale.
At Softchoice, we know the real cost (in time and human resources) of updating the hardware and software of an entire company. But the cost is well worth it when compared to the consequence of losing a steady stream of millennial workers. And in a Windows 10 world, any office still running Windows 7 is essentially advertising its reluctance to embrace modernity. Is that a badge you want your organization to wear?
Where to from here?
If you want to change the corporate message your organization is sending out through its technology, contact a Softchoice expert today to discuss the various hardware needs your business is facing. From running you through a demo of a hybrid device, to giving you a detailed ROI breakdown, we’re here to help any organization that wants its technology to make a strong, positive statement.
Alternatively, use our new search tool to see which mobile devices we recommend for your business. Search by intended user, brand name, and device “must-haves” for your customized recommendations.
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