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If you haven’t heard the news yet, the Teletubbies are returning to television and sporting a new look, complete with touch screen bellies. Considering the (UK) show is aimed at children who in many cases can’t even speak yet, this is a telling indication that we’re now fully immersed in the digital age.
The smartphone has become the poster-child technology for this path we’ve taken, thanks largely to the generation that grew up watching the original Teletubbies – millennials. Interactive technologies are at the very heart of how young people interact with each other, with information, and with the companies that matter to them.
As millennials make up a growing proportion of the modern workforce, employers need to ensure they provide the tools and experiences to attract and keep young employees engaged and allow them to make the most of their digital skills. Not only is mobile the platform of choice for millennials, for a significant portion (over a third) it is their ONLY form of interaction.
So, our collective challenge is to provide this generation with the most intuitive, hassle free user experience ever! - because although it is widely believed millennials can make anything work, most will avoid inconvenience at any cost.
According to a recent Oracle Study, 32% of millennials say they view “work apps” as essential in helping them successfully do their jobs1. For companies looking to attract and retain the best and brightest young talent, this figure is nothing to laugh at.
Mobile is altering the DNA of the workforce. Combined with the cloud in particular, it opens up data access across the organisation so that people can work in smarter ways. Today almost half of employees say they are more productive at home or remotely than in the office. Some employers are adapting to this reality to enhance productivity2. Utility companies have long used mobile, cloud and data technologies to ensure that the right teams are dispatched to the right jobs as quickly as possible, which means a better quality of service for their customers.
Young people today expect this type of connectivity and convenience. The end-game for organisations is to make mobility a natural part of their company culture. Digital leaders understand that the technology needs to be ingrained in the organisation from the inside out, and that it must be kept front of mind whether setting up internal business processes or developing new products and services for customers.
While they haven’t gone quite so far as to implant touch screens directly on their employees’ bodies, many of today’s disruptive companies like Uber, Paym, and Instagram, have been built entirely on mobile platforms. Others are taking advantage of mobile to find new ways of engaging with young customers –Spotify’s partnership with Uber is a prime example of this approach.
This is just the beginning. Millennials represent the first mobile generation, and the next wave of workers will be even closer to their mobile devices. Soon enough the young children that are today swiping at their TV screens to zoom in on their favourite cartoon characters will grow up to join the modern workforce. I’m willing to bet they will expect at least the same functionality from their work tools as comes standard in a Teletubby.