June 5, 2015

Article

Leaders over 50, Enterprise Video and The Millennial Workforce… What’s the Connection?

OK, true confessions. I am over 50. Well, not by much, but over 50 nonetheless. I have always considered myself a strong leader with good intuition and very strong communications skills, but lately I’ve realized something. I have noticed more times recently where I have been surprised by the reaction of a group of employees. Not in a dramatic way, but surprised that messages I thought would be well-received were moderately well-received and some things I thought would be poorly received, were in fact, not a huge deal. Through this, what I have really learned is that it is really different communicating with Millennials compared to the workforce that had been dominated by Gen Xers. The more research I have done, the more obvious it becomes. Millennials really care about their peers, their community and the world they live in. Not that those of us from the previous generations don’t care about those things, but Millennials see them as the highest priorities: higher than money, fun and even individual advancement. Those are obviously important, but let’s consider them now, necessary, but not sufficient to drive the happiness of a Millennial workforce. The rules are changing, and we have to keep up!

So How Do We Keep Pace (And Keep Them Engaged)?

In the midst of researching the topic, I found an article by Michael Lee Stallard, where he lists three things to drive better engagement and job satisfaction for your Millennial employees.

  1. Communicate a compelling vision and live it!
  2. Value them
  3. Give them voice

Each of these is a compelling topic of their own, but as large companies take on these challenges, it becomes increasingly clear that the most successful companies are using Enterprise Video as a way to reach out to their entire workforce. This is in fact, the primary reason I came back to Kontiki/Kollective. I believe strongly in our role helping companies take on the engagement challenge and delivering the tools required to enable enterprises to scale the use of video to drive employee engagement.

Enterprise Video Helps Companies Engage and Connect with Employees

At Kollective, we see our Global 2000 and mid-market customer base using live and on-demand video, including webcasts, to inform and engage their employees. Common use cases include: delivery of their company vision, updating employees on company performance, highlighting success of customers using company products, coverage of community service events and fund raisers and employee spotlights. Video gives employees a firsthand account of what is happening in the company, but more importantly, it creates a connection between the senior leaders in the company and the employees, which is important for all employees, but especially Millennials. This a connection that cannot be establish in writing or by using the management chain to pass down the message. Many leaders who are used to communicating to an employee base from prior generations can easily underestimate the importance of this connection! Video allows the senior team to communicate in their own words, to show their personality, and to become human to their global team. One of our large European enterprise customers recently used a live video broadcast to replace an in-person annual management meeting. Not only did the broadcast allow them to reach more people directly, but it allowed for an archived version of the session to be broadly available. In the past, it took in excess of 90 days for the “Annual Kickoff” message to trickle down through the layers of management. This time, they were able to reach the majority of the management team in just 7 days! After the reviews of the live event came in, the CEO said, “We will never do this old way again”.

Enterprise Video is Not Just For Top-Down Communication

The growth in the use of User Generated Content inside large enterprises is rapid. It is part of the larger social enterprise trend. Allowing employees to create videos to be used for training, information sharing, and even cultural events is becoming more commonplace. Not only does it show employees you value them, but it gets them involved and gives them a voice in the overall communication efforts in the company. It is amazing how comfortable Millennials are with using video to communicate. It comes almost as second nature for them. Don’t underestimate the power of video in the hands of your workforce. Of course, it is something you have to manage, but learn to value it. There are plenty of best practices we can share with you on how to manage the process.

From highly polished global events to simple webcam two minute messages, Enterprise Video is management’s most powerful, scalable tool for employee engagement. To learn more about the possibilities, contact us.

Todd Johnson,  President of Kollective Technology