Do you ever feel like you have almost too many ways to communicate in business today?
People send me email. That’s not new.
But then there are texts.
And my group likes to use a free app called Slack, which enables us to message in targeted groups on various topics.
And let’s not forget the phone … and the occasional piece of snail mail.
While all of this communication is good, it can also be overwhelming for any business owner to embrace. Some days, I’m not sure which form of communication to check first to make sure I don’t miss something. Other days, I’m flipping through each tool with ease, checking to-dos off of the list.
Well, communication in business is going to continue to evolve, especially now that the millennials are taking over.
Yep, they are now the largest generation in America, and with them they bring their own preferred communication tools. That means mobile-friendly, according to the PRSA Employee Communication Section and APPrise Mobile’s 2016 Digital Workplace Communications Survey. They practically grew up using laptops and tablets and smartphones — all forms of instantaneous communication.
In fact, when millennials are forced to use older, legacy systems that lack speed, they become extremely frustrated very quickly. A report from Nimble Storage and Oxford Economics found that a whopping 78 percent of millennials say they occasionally or constantly experience delays when using business software, and half of millennials say they will just stop using an application if it runs too slowly.
Experts recommend business owners approach new digital communication tools with an open mind and involve employees in the decision-making process. Ask them what they want to use to increase productivity and encourage engagement. Investing in communication tools can be expensive, but the last thing you want is to waste money by introducing a new tool that nobody wants to use — millennial or not.
On top of all of this data, what’s most surprising is that despite the fact that 81 percent of millennials value state-of-the-art technology, 55 percent say they prefer face-to-face communication over digital communication, according to an Adobe study.
So don’t give up on all of those “old-fashioned” communication tactics.