Note to employers: If you think good wages alone will attract the youngest generation entering the workforce, think again. A new survey by Accenture found that Millennials — those between the ages of 14 and 27 — are more inclined to work at companies that accommodate their desire to employ personal technological devices in the workplace.
“[The survey] is very definitive about how important technology choices are — and in particular personal technology choices — in the equation of where prospective employees will work,” said Gary Curtis, chief technology strategist at Accenture, a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.
The results of the survey also revealed an apparent discrepancy between the type of technological devices Millennial employees need to be productive in the workplace and the kind provided by employers. In fact, more than 20 percent of respondents said the technical devices provided by their employers failed to meet their expectations.
“Millennial employees want to choose the mobile devices that they use and not necessarily be restricted to those which the company provides for official use,” Curtis said. “They don’t want to have to migrate to other devices, some of which are older or not as versatile.”
Further, more than half those surveyed either admitted to being unfamiliar with their companies’ IT policies or expressed an inclination to flout the rules. For example, many said they accessed the following devices for professional tasks without corporate approval: mobile phones, open-source technology, instant messaging, online applications and social networking.
However, Millennials might not be the only ones to blame for this trend. According to the survey, a number of employers do not effectively communicate these policies to employees.
“[Employers] need to do a better job of articulating the IT policies in plain language so anyone who joins the company can understand what it means and why it’s important,” Curtis said. “They also don’t sell it enough [and tend to just] include it with other policies.”
However, not broadcasting and adhering to these IT policies can have dire consequences. “IT policies are in place for good reasons: data privacy or confidentiality, proper use, avoiding illegal or improper situations, etc.,” Curtis said.
While most companies have policies around the proper use of the Internet, Curtis said it’s virtually impossible to shield a company from all inappropriate material online.
“Most companies restrict [the use of] devices to those which have appropriate built-in security capabilities like encrypted passwords and encryption in the database,” he said.
Nonetheless, employers should be aware that Millennials expect to have access to such features as online chat, instant messaging, text messaging and RSS feeds for work-related use. As a result, Curtis said organizations that intend to recruit and retain Millennials must identify and provide key technologies that aid this segment of the workforce in completing professional tasks, while simultaneously maintaining enterprise security.
– Deanna Hartley, email@example.com