How Millennials are Driving the Workplace User Experience

The makeup of your workforce is constantly changing.  Millennials, or those people born between 1980 and 2000, comprise approximately 38% of the workforce today.  By 2025, that number will rise to 75%. Employers looking to attract and retain top talent need to understand the needs and motivations of this section of the workforce.

While some may not have grown up with the internet, the internet has been influencing their perceptions through all of their formative young adult and adult years.  Their technology expectations have been shaped by smartphones and digital media.  The stereotype that they don’t read is likely far from the truth. While it may be true that millennials don’t read newspapers, they simply consume content differently. They are much more likely to consume content on a tablet or e-reader.

How does this impact the workplace?

In a recent Gallup report entitled How Millennials Want to Work and Live, we find that only 29% of millennials are engaged at work, meaning they are emotionally and behaviorally connected to their job and company.  Of the remaining group, 16% are actively disengaged. The millennial workforce is predominantly indifferent about work and just showing up to put in their hours.

Knowing what we know about millennials technology expectations, is the workplace technology environment built to gain buy-in from this section of the workforce?  Hardly.  According to a recent global survey by the Workforce Institute, more than a third of employees surveyed worldwide feel their job is harder than it should be due to legacy technology.

The combination of legacy ERP applications, web applications, and traditional LMS systems and the sometimes complicated processes required to integrate and navigate between them can leave employees uncertain about their job function and how to do it.  This situation can drive uncertainty and ambiguity in job roles.

In a new study entitled Tolerance of Ambiguity, from Queensland University of Technology, we find that workers aged 18 to 37 are twice as likely as older workers to be uncomfortable with ambiguity.  Clearly as employers, we are not building a work environment predicated on the success of what will become the largest section of our workforce very shortly.

What can companies do?

Digital Transformation has become a popular buzzword among CIOs and IT Executives over the last few years.  Most companies currently have some sort of active digital transformation initiative or are in the planning stages.  These initiatives are multi-year efforts, can cost millions of dollars, and often run into roadblocks or deliver smaller scope than originally planned.

What quick, practical, low cost solutions can be employed to address employee engagement now?  

This is where Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS) come in.  Traditional classroom training is costly, time consuming, and ineffective.  Millennials are looking for their work technology environment to mirror their personal technology environment.  Similar to website guided tours, an EPSS provides in application guidance and help only when the user needs it and without leaving the application.  

When legacy ERP applications, such as SAP, cannot be replaced quickly or cheaply, applying an EPSS solution like OnScreen for SAP GUI can simplify your legacy application..  Reduce workplace ambiguity, modernize the look and feel of your legacy SAP ECC system, and empower your millenial workforce with self-service guidance and help.

Visit our website at www.OnScreenSAP.com to learn more.

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