Millennials crossed a demographic threshold last year, becoming the largest single generation in the U.S. workforce: 53.5 million strong as of the first quarter of 2015, or 34 percent of total U.S. workers, according to Pew Research Center. That percentage will grow to nearly 50 percent by 2020.
As enterprise managers know, millennials take a different approach toward work than their generational predecessors. They claim to be less interested in pay and more motivated by job flexibility, independence and opportunities to collaborate. They also want the business goals of their employers to align with their values.
Millennials are quite adamant about using the technology tools of their choice to do their jobs. A big part of this is coincidental: The consumerization of mobile and digital technologies really began on their watch. Some have had mobile devices since grade school, so they know what they like and they know what they’re familiar with. (Thank you, Mr. IT Guy, but you can keep your Blackberry. I got things covered with my iPhone 7.)
This matters in two important ways: First, employees who use the devices of their choice inevitably will be more productive than those trying to do their jobs with an IT-selected smartphone they’ve never even heard of, much less owned. That’s just how the world works. Second, employees who are able to use their own smartphones, tablets and wearables — without onerous security restrictions — will be happier in their jobs because they’re empowered to be more productive.
Enterprise Apps Tech contributor Dave Schuette writes, “The promise of BYOD – especially to discerning Millennials – is usability and familiarity. Obstructive security measures will quickly poison the benefits of BYOD, and risk disenfranchising employees.”
It’s up to individual enterprises to 1) strike the right balance between usability and security, and 2) find the right tools to ensure that balance. Schuette goes on to make a pitch for “contextual authentication” to eliminate the type of cumbersome multi-factor techniques that require manual imput from frustrated employees. Analytics-based authentication sounds like a pretty good idea, actually.
Does your BYOD program support staff retention?