How the millennial workforce is redefining contours of employee communication

Prolific author and employee engagement coach David Zinger says that “Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognised connections to strategy, roles, performance, organisation, community, relationship, customers, development, energy, and happiness to leverage, sustain, and transform work into results.”

In line to what Zinger says, organisations who have their eyes set firmly on their growth agenda and a millennial workforce at the helm of achieving it all, are today re-imagining modes of employee communication and engagement. Efforts are being made in all directions to make sure that a ‘right’ connect with the purpose-driven millennials is established absolutely from the start of their association with the company. Undoubtedly, those organisations who have been able to think on these lines ahead of their time, are reaping the benefits of having millennials leading transformational activities necessary for growth and sustenance in a truly effective and efficient way.

We all know that for the last decade or so, change has been the only thing constant in progressive organisations. Starting with rebranding efforts to driving change in the organisation’s market perception, defining organisational purpose to introduction of a plethora of new services – employees are now at the heart of all changes. Torchbearers of the massive transformation efforts, the Human Capital (note I don’t say Human Resources!) and Brand/Corporate Communications team are working overtime to use innovative ways to communicate and make the right connect. They are acknowledging the needs of a geographically dispersed workforce and engaging them through multiple channels that will reach them no matter where they are. Such channels include apps, text messages, push notification tools, peer-to-peer communication platforms as well as social media. Videos are taking precedence over the written word and communication teams are recruiting professional videographers/editors as part of their core teams.

Here’s a look at some tips to make sure that your communication is millennial friendly:

  • First things first – will millennials understand what you are saying? They detest corporate jargon – and want things to be said simply – so you need to avoid the preachy bits and use simple conversational English in your copies for all collaterals and campaigns. And most importantly – keep it brief!
  • Millennials are not blind followers – just because you are the employer – it is difficult to make them agree to whatever you say – they need to see purpose – and if they agree – you just need to reiterate your message once in a while. Make sure anything that you wish to communicate is clear on its intent and messaging – answer the question “what’s in it for them?”
  • Millennials are always on the go – the platforms that you use have to enable this. This means printing a few posters and having an email sent out is not all. You need to look at the digital footprint of your target group and drive messaging through those channels. A lot of organisations therefore today are using owned social media channels as a mode of communicating with their millennial staff. It is a refreshing change because it allows engagement to happen outside the controlled environment and in a more relaxed setting where absorption may happen faster.
  • Aversion to long explanatory calls – This is a generation that has never seen the phone as a device to make calls – they abhor long con calls! A short text message or a using a messaging app will be a better bet to get your message across.
  • And finally, we all know millennials truly value flexibility! While they may be using state of the art technology, it doesn’t mean you can expect them be available 24/7 to respond to organisational needs. Respect their time and their privacy.
Mousumi Halder Ghosh
Director, Corporate Communications at PwC India
Mousumi has over 15 years of rich exposure in several communication workstreams, including content development, feature writing, internal communications, media relations, leadership communication, marketing communication and reputational crisis management.

In her eight-year long association with PwC, Mousumi has been leading some of the pioneering efforts that has helped the professional services giant engage more effectively with its internal and external stakeholders.

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