Playing the Generation Game and overcoming Millennials loyalty challenge – Børge Astrup, Managing Director of Intelecom Contact Centre Division offers his top five tips for overcoming the Millennials loyalty challenge
Whatever you call them, Millennials, the Millennial Generation, Generation Y or the Net Generation, those born between 1980 and 2000, are the future of our workplace. According to global consulting firm PWC , they already form 25% of the workforce in the UK. By 2020, Millennials will form 50% of the global workforce.
However, this influx of next generation employees comes with a very important health warning from worldwide management consultants Deloitte. During September and October 2015, they interviewed 7,700 Millennials from 29 countries and discovered that two-thirds of them expressed a desire to leave their organisations by 2020. The message is clear: businesses must adjust how they nurture loyalty among Millennials or risk losing a large percentage of their workforce. A sobering thought!
No wonder companies are under increasing pressure to re-evaluate their approach to people management and nowhere is this more evident than in the contact centre.
Keeping Millennials Happy
Interestingly, but perhaps not surprisingly, Millennials are tech savvy individuals who are more comfortable with new technology and are more likely to embrace unified communications and contact centre technology, but only if the technology in question offers them the flexibility and collaborative qualities packaged in a visually appealing and easy to navigate manner.
In fact, a common theme of recent industry reports is the importance the younger generation attaches to investment in technology, often a deal clincher when choosing a new employer. Technology combined with a favourable work environment are critical, a sentiment echoed by global IT solutions and managed services provider Logicalis. Of the 1,100 UK 13-17 year-olds they surveyed, 79% said “businesses will have to update IT and flexible work practices.”
So how do we attract and keep today’s young talent? Here are tips to get started:
• Combine financial success with a conscience – Success for Millennials is about more than the bottom line. Deloitte’s survey (endnote ii) indicates that they value employee and customer satisfaction (62% and 55% respectively) more highly than turnover (29%) and reputation (27%). They want to work for a company that cares and gives back to the community.
• Make employee engagement a top priority – Millennials want to feel part of their community, whether at work or at play. The findings of Deloitte go on to say that employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction where there is a creative, inclusive working culture (76%) rather than a more authoritarian, rules-based approach (49%).Why not Introduce gamification into the contact centre so that agents can beat their personal best in terms of more calls, more sales, decreased average handling time (AHT) and so on? Performance should be measured individually and, more crucially, as a team.
• Strike a work-life balance – What employers need to understand is that Millennials put work/life balance and social responsibility ahead of their careers. When salary and other financial benefits are removed from the equation, Deloitte reveals that work-life balance and flexible working arrangements come next as two critical drivers of employer choice (endnote ii).The good thing is that today’s cloud-based contact centre solutions facilitate intelligent routing and enable agents to be connected from anywhere and at anytime.
• Never under-estimate the power of social media – Statistics from consumer research giant Nielsen reveal that 51% of 25-34 year-olds regularly take time out of the work day to use social networking in the office and that this section of the population typically logs 20-21 hours each month on social media. It goes without saying that if your employees are Millennials the likelihood is that consumers will be too.
• Take advantage of the latest multi-channel capabilities of cloud-based contact centre solutions so that customers can interact with you in a way that suits them best.
• Be more visual – According to SJS Solutions, supplier of Digital Display Solutions for contact centres, sales teams and help desks, “giving contact centre agents a transparent view of customer sentiment, a balance of performance metrics from multiple sources and key information, will allow them to deliver great customer care, reduce stress, improve wellbeing and promote employee growth.”
Millennials want to see more than simple digital screen designs containing basic call handling metrics. Any visual communications solution worth investing in should be able to do more than gather data from an ACD or PBX and display call handling metrics onto a TV screen. To really engage with agents and create an environment that will attract talented individuals, wallboards and screens should be awash with exciting information; agent anniversaries, new employee introductions, new office openings, and other corporate announcements.
Many organisations are waking up to the fact that they will need to make changes to how they operate if they want to attract and retain highly motivated and engaged employees. Gamification, agent self-service, workforce management flexibility and the right technology to make life easier brings out the best in employees including the Millennials.
Børge Astrup, Managing Director of Intelecom Contact Centre Division
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