Today’s workplace is a melting pot of five different age groups, from Gen Z to the silent generation. Magazine headlines and industry conversations encourage organizations to cater to these disparate groups in hopes of creating a single, harmonized workplace.
Unsurprisingly, many leaders make assumptions based on this buzz and don’t actually take a firsthand look at their own employees’ preferences. For example, they may instinctively default to the blanket statement that millennials prefer digital communication while baby boomers prefer face-to-face.
However, current evidence suggests that when it comes to work, there are few meaningful differences among generations. And in fact, the belief that those differences exist could promote stereotypes that are more detrimental to organizational culture than the age differences themselves. In other words, all this panic is not only unnecessary but causing painful divisions. Take, for instance, the “Ok Boomer” trend or the lazy millennial stereotype.
At the end of the day, employees generally have more in common than assumed, especially with their many shared workplace goals. They work on the same teams, communicate with the same coworkers and work towards the same end results, regardless of when they were born. This is important to keep in mind as organizations consider their current unified communications and collaboration (UCC) programs.
Leaders must consider the end-user when making large-scale UCC updates
Communication processes and UCC solutions should start and end with the end-user, not with generational stereotypes. Organizations must leverage real user data, not preconceived notions, to inform recommendations for the right technology. Leaders must look at the individual needs and expectations of IT employees, business leaders and employees on the front lines and then align those needs to best take advantage of the technology.
- Step 1: Work to understand end-user workflows. To provide a true end-to-end UCC experience, it’s critical to understand the day-to-day workflows of employees, their work style tendencies and the ways in which they use existing technology. Organizations must collect data via surveys, interviews and group sessions or identify leaders from each team who can speak for the needs of the larger group.
- Step 2: Examine, design and deploy. After data collection comes analysis to help guide decisions. Those surveys and interviews should reveal the current state of the organization’s UCC environment and how end-users utilize it. Specific use cases and functionality requirements for each department and group should also reveal themselves. Leaders can then identify common themes and any opportunities to introduce or upgrade technology to further enhance collaboration and communication among all end users.
The UCC solution that the organization lands on should result in higher end-user adoption and a better ROI. A streamlined internal marketing plan can announce the rollout to end-users, setting expectations and introducing how the new solutions fit into their current workflows. Communications must be highly detailed depending on the use case — not on the generation that the user belongs to.
Ready for a UCC change at your organization? TetraVX’s tailored approach puts end-users first — from data gathering to change communication. We’ll work with your team to identify key stakeholders and deliver a solution that elevates your UCC infrastructure and supports every end-user in their daily tasks.