The first step to attracting millennials
RARE IS THE Canadian business that does not want to attract millennials– both as producers and as consumers of goods and services.For most businesses – including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – employing millennials is an opportunity to diversify their employee base and infuse the organization with creativity and innovation, thus enabling growth and success. That’s because millennials, in general, are well educated, eager to learn new skills and passionate about making a difference. Having grown up in the digital age, their comfort with modern technology is unrivalled. Those qualities make millennials desirable consumers as well as extremely valuable employees.
And there are a lot of them. According to Statistics Canada, the number of Canadians born between 1980 and 2000 – generally considered to be the millennial generation – totals around 12.5 million. That’s approximately 35 per cent of Canada’s total population.
Little wonder that forward-looking companies are doing all they can to attract millennials to their organizations. One way to do this is through technology – and Microsoft can help.
“Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more,” says Cheri Chevalier, General Manager of the Modern Workplace Cloud Services and Software Division. “We want SMEs to thrive.” When SMEs thrive, Microsoft believes, it has a positive impact on the entire Canadian economy. And a rising economy lifts all businesses.
Our solutions like Office 365 are designed to empower employees to work in the way that enables them to do their best work. Anywhere, at any time and from any device. Increasingly, those employees are millennials.
As of 2016, they were the single largest generation in the workforce. By 2025, millennials are expected to make up 75 per cent of the workforce. But while that’s a large pool to draw from, the competition for these talented employees is bound to be fierce. To succeed, business owners must know how to attract millennials. Providing the software that enables them to work the way they want – with flexibility, creativity, mobility at the heart – is a critical part of that. But there is more.
It all starts with understanding, says Chevalier. “Millennials have demonstrated that they work differently from other generations. They’re driven by different goals and values. If organizations want to be successful, they must begin by asking themselves if they’re fully prepared to attract and retain these talented individuals.”
To help, Microsoft Canada has created a guide called Sleep Well, Dream Big: Building your millennial advantage. The guide cites what it calls the four Ts – teamwork, transparency, tangible impact and technology – as vital to understanding and motivating millennials. Here’s what it says to SMEs:
Teamwork: Millennials are known to be strong collaborators. Given that the best ideas are generated from working amongst diverse groups of people, enabling them to collaborate easily is key.
Transparency: In order to maximize innovation and empower millennials, organizations should create environments where information is fluidly shared. Silos of information can create distrust and slow progress.
Tangible impact: To let millennials know their work makes a difference, employers must show them how their work helps achieve overarching corporate goals and contributes to a larger meaningful goal.
Technology: Millennials need technology to thrive. They want equality, accessibility, and shared consciousness in the workplace. They want to be able to work where they can do their best and still have access to the tools and information that they need.
“Millennials are changing the workplace for everyone,” says Chevalier. “It is more important than ever for businesses to understand, attract and challenge this exceptionally talented generation.”