November 22 2018 - A recent study by training company Amanet has forecasted that millennials will form almost two thirds (64%) of the UK workforce by 2020.
As a result, competition among different companies to attract and retain the very best talent from this generation is rife, especially in highly populated business centres such
as London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.
Many businesses up and down the country are now realising the requirement to invest more substantially in employee engagement, the importance of connecting with their colleagues and creating valuable feedback channels. To entice the best staff, they now must ensure they can lead by example and provide a reason why millennials want to come to work each day. There is significant focus on personal development programmes and providing teams with the freedom they need to flourish and grow within their roles, whilst huge emphasis has also been placed on creating modern workspaces that are designed to drive engagement levels. This approach was first adopted in California, as tech giants such as Facebook, Google and Apple competed ferociously for the top talent.
Unsurprisingly, millennials enjoy the highest ownership of smartphones and other connected devices compared to other generations, using these platforms to communicate
with friends and family, shop, manage their finances, monitor their health and explore new relationships. I believe businesses must replicate that convenience in the workplace to
appeal to their needs and drive increased engagement levels.
At some time, I'm sure we have all worked in offices where we have a security pass in a lanyard to enter the building, a separate four-digit code for the bike shed, vending machines that only accept cash, and long queues in the canteen as people saunter past the hot plate surveying the food on offer that day. Now imagine how a tech-savvy employee would feel about wearing an innovative wristband or special ID badge to enter their office, which also allows them to conveniently access all the areas of the building. The wristband or ID badge also integrates with an online account that allows them to make contactless purchases, so that 11am trip to the vending machine is hassle and coin free. Come lunchtime, the wristband or ID badge works seamlessly alongside a range of self-service kiosks that help to eradicate those dreaded queues. At the same time, users are earning loyalty points for increased activity and making purchases, helping to create a far more fulfilling experience, whilst employers can also offer their staff the option of having their purchases deducted from their wages.
At Systopia, we continue to work closely with our clients to make this vision a reality and we are proud to see more of our solutions, including our self-service kiosks, vending machines and wristbands, helping to create a more engaging work experience.
This forward-thinking approach will only grow in importance as working practices evolve over the coming years. For instance, recent research by hospitality company Sodexo and health body ukactive revealed that the average UK worker is now taking just 22 minutes for lunch, down from 33 minutes in 2012. This continuing trend was a key consideration point when we were developing our range of innovative self-service kiosks. With an emphasis on speed, the touch-screen kiosks have been designed to emotionally engage the end user by featuring attractive graphics, thereby encouraging employees to utilise on-site facilities and appeal to those who typically take less time for lunch - shorter queuing times ensure employees can spend more time relaxing.
To further tap into the technology-focused culture being driven by smartphones, we also released our new user focused application called My Systopia. Optimised to work on mobile, tablet or desktop, it allows end users to securely access their personal accounts, check their balance, review purchases, collect and redeem loyalty points and even pre-order their favourite morning coffee ready for collection upon their arrival. Customers working in a cashless environment also have the added advantage of topping-up their account balance on any device, anytime, anywhere. In addition, the application is fully customisable, so it can be tailored to fit with an organisation's own brand and style. The feedback we have received since the app's launch earlier this year has been overwhelmingly positive, and we will continue to use feedback to build additional functionality.
In conclusion, senior business leaders must allow their organisations to adapt and evolve to suit the requirements of millennials, as this ambitious generation grows in size and influence within the workspace. A key part of this will be helping them to alleviate the pressures on modern business by providing convenient and accessible solutions that boost engagement. Thankfully, the solutions are now more readily available, so organisations can replicate that Silicon Valley experience.