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The results from the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report are in – and they may surprise you.
Cisco interviewed 2,853 respondents including 1,441 college students (18 to 24 years old) and 1,412 new college graduates (21 to 29 years old) across 14 countries.
These five top-line findings are worth a discussion with your team:
- One-third of respondents would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.
- Two of five students have NOT bought a physical book (except text book) in two years.
- Two-thirds of respondents will ask about a company’s social media policies during the job interview and 56 percent will not accept a job from a company that bans social media access from work or will circumvent this policy.
- 41 percent of employees say their company marketed a flexible device and social media policy to recruit them to work at the organization.
- Three out of 10 respondents feel that once they begin working, it will be their right, more than a privilege, to be able to work remotely with a flexible schedule.
The Cisco Connected World Technology Report is rich with a lot of data on what millennials want, need and expect from an employer. After reading the report, ask yourself: What are you going to recommend your organization start doing and stop doing to better address the needs of millennial employees? Here is our short list:
- Researching your own employee needs, just as you research your customer needs. For every effort your company makes in researching your customers, expend an equal effort in probing the needs, desires and demands of your current and prospective employees. Almost any technology that is used to research customers, such as data mining and social networks, can be flipped to be used for researching employee needs. Companies that best understand and anticipate the needs of its employees will attract, and most likely retain, the best talent.
- Exploring flexibility about the use of mobile devices. The days of distributing a locked down, standard laptop and mobile phone are long gone. Millennials expect to BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) to work and will insist on this as a way to increase their productivity.
- Believing you can “control” social media use. Millennials will find a way to circumvent whatever closed social media policy gets in their way of being open, collaborative and social in the workplace.
- Being afraid of having your employees work remotely. In other words, start trusting your employees to work, learn and collaborate where, when and how they can be most productive. This will require new policies for alternative work arrangements. Managers will need to learn how to manage virtual teams. The 2020 workplace is here today.
Share with us your reaction to this report, questions it raises and what you and your organization will start doing and stop doing.
Jeanne Meister and Steve Dahlberg
Jeanne C. Meister is co-author of The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop & Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today (Harper Business, 2010) and co-host of the Social Learning Boot Camp. Jeanne is an internationally recognized workplace-learning consultant dedicated to delivering competitive advantage, innovation and improved business results for organizations. She was most recently vice president of Accenture Learning. Steven Dahlberg is partner and vice president of innovation for Future Workplace and co-host of the Social Learning Boot Camp. He collaborates across sectors to assist organizations in developing and applying creativity, innovation and learning. He co-hosts the Creativity in Play radio show, authored the foreword to Education is Everybody’s Business, and has written for Training magazine. Steven serves on the board of the National Creativity Network and has taught "Creativity + Social Change" at the University of Connecticut.
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