The Future Workforce and Enterprise Social Collaboration

Screen Shot 2017-05-22 at 8.01.05 PM.pngBy 2025, Millennials will make up the majority of the workforce – and they’re bringing along new expectations and habits to the workplace. Here’s what this workforce of the future looks like:

  • An average employee will move from job to job quickly, staying for about two years at each organization.
  • Millennial employees want workplace flexibility, meaning more remote and dispersed workforces across countries and time zones.
  • A younger, tech-savvy workforce craves the same social functionality at work that they’re accustomed to in their personal lives. A social UX is the way of the future.

It’s essential that organizations begin understanding what this growing millennial workforce needs to thrive, and it’s clear that some traditional ways of working won’t suit this new generation. New expectations, values, skill sets and mentalities call for companies to adapt to the “millennial employee,” and learn what empowers them to do the best work possible.

Given their unique characteristics, enterprise social collaboration fits the millennial workforce perfectly. A socially powered collaboration platform equips this new workforce with the tools and features they need to excel, while simultaneously helping organizations navigate a rapidly changing employee base.

Here are a few ways enterprise social collaboration addresses the needs of the workforce of the future and empowers them to propel organizations to success. 

Supports a Distributed and Remote Workforce

A study conducted with oDesk found that 92% of Millennials want to work remotely. Building a cohesive corporate culture is essential to corporate success in an increasingly mobile and millennial world. The challenge to optimize efficiency, productivity and positive business outcomes can seem insurmountable, especially with a distributed workforce. 

But enterprise social collaboration can close the gap between separated teams and the need to get stuff done, together. With the right socially powered platform in place, an increasingly remote and mobile workforce can share, collaborate and work together just as if they were in the room next-door.

Easy Intellectual Property Retention

As mentioned, the average tenure of a millennial employee at any given job is about two years. With employees jumping ship so often, it’s essential for organizations to have an easy way to retain intellectual property (IP) after workers leave. Without a solution like this, organizations waste hours recovering files from an ex-employee’s email and computer. Not to mention the intangible details about day-to-day operations that each employee alone is privy to. 

With an enterprise social collaboration platform, IP such as meeting minutes, brainstorming notes, document drafts, research reports and projects updates are stored in one centralized location. No more hunting down dispersed information when you have every online chat, file and piece of feedback stored and consolidated in one place. And no more feeling lost when an employee leaves unexpectedly. 

Collaboration Fosters Productivity

A recent study found that 38% of Millennials think outdated collaboration processes prevent innovation within their organization. The new workforce is accustomed to using technologies and social networks to share ideas and grind out projects.

Workplaces should take this into account as Millennials begin to comprise more and more of their employee base. An enterprise social collaboration tool combines wikis, blogs, document collaboration and chat to facilitate work in a social way that Millennials are already used to. Instead of feeling like their innovative spirits are hindered, this type of platform enables them to share, collaborate and brainstorm in a way that a stagnant, siloed office environment can’t provide. 

Supports Technology over Face-to-face Communication

In a 2013 Cisco study of Millennials in the workplace, 87% percent of them said they thought video has a “significant and positive impact on an organization.” Forty-one percent of Millennials even went so far as to say they preferred to communicate electronically versus face-to-face or on the phone. A good enterprise social collaboration platform offers real-time chat features (including video) so you cut down on email overload and eliminate the need for inefficient in-person meetings. Even better, a collaboration platform that stores conversations for later search and retrieval can contribute to IP protection and ensure that no information is ever lost within your organization.

Don’t bury your head in the sand and ignore that the topography of the workforce is changing. Clinging tight to your organization’s old ways will only pull your teams down rather than empower them to move the company forward. Enterprise social collaboration tools are the way of the future – find one that works for you and offers great support to make transitioning your team from Workplace 1.0 to Workplace 2.0 seamless, so you can get more stuff done, together.

David is the Director/Client Services for Incentive. visit us to learn more and get stuff done together. What's Your Incentive?