Workplace environments are constantly changing – not only because of technological advancements, but also because of the changing demographics of the workforce. New generations entering the workforce are demanding changes from the old practices.
By 2025, millennials are expected to represent approximately 75% of the workforce. This major shift in demographics will be accompanied by a major change in workplace values.
Millennials desire to be highly engaged in the work they do. They want to feel connected to the organization and are demanding that companies think about employer-employee relationships as well as social camaraderie at work, rather than only focused on getting the job done.
Preferences such as these are driving major changes in workplace communication systems, emphasizing a major “sweet spot” for the incorporation of new technology.
This “sweet spot” is where companies can leverage everything great about technology while at the same time, giving it the right amount of focus.
With so many generations coming together in the workplace nowadays, communication technology is more important now than ever to connect people across various hierarchies.
Companies can use this “sweet spot” to leverage communication functions in their workplace. This can be done through the process of the 3Ps: Prioritize, Position, and Protocols.
1. Prioritize relationships
The first step in this process must come from the top level management and then penetrate through the workplace. Leaders and executives must prioritize relationship-building at work and make continuous efforts to create opportunities for building relationships with employees.
2. Positioning technology to strengthen relationships
The next step requires companies to closely evaluate their employees’ communication needs and use appropriate technologies to fill these needs. Technology has created a number of ways for people to communicate and connect with each other. With so many options, it becomes increasingly important for companies to be strategic in their choice of technology.
The final P in this process refers to specifying best practices for using technology to communicate with co-workers. Due to the mix of generations and their varying communication preferences, friction surrounds workplace communication. Therefore, companies must set protocols for what methods of communication to use in different situations, how much detail and context to provide, and what level of formality is appropriate.
Using these 3Ps, companies will be able to successfully leverage their “sweet spot” and ensure millennials as well as all employees use technology effective to communicate in the workplace.