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Organisations should leverage instinctive nature of millennials’ digital skills

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Ian McVey of software company Qualtrics says millennials have technology skills "almost embedded"

Organisations should be leveraging the instinctive nature of millennials’ digital skills, according to Ian McVey, head of enterprise sales, Northern Europe at research software company Qualtrics.

“Millennials are growing up today with technology almost embedded,” McVey told HR magazine. “This is a generation used to commenting, used to digitally engaging with their peers, used to Instagram, Twitter, and instant messaging. I think for the HR world leveraging that is a great opportunity.”

McVey cited his two-year-old son’s assumption that the television was a touchscreen device as demonstrating the ability of young people to absorb technology into their everyday lives. “I certainly see more and more of that happening,” he said. “Technology is absolutely wrapped around millennials and the subsequent generations coming through.

“This means two things. Firstly, the pace of change of technology is key. Look at the smartphone industry; it used to be Blackberry everywhere because of Blackberry Messenger. Now it’s Samsung and Apple devices, and soon we could see a shift to Microsoft.

Technology adoption is the other key factor. We’ll see an increase in the use of and integration of technology in the workplace. The changing world of work will have to account for the working styles of these younger generations, and their work styles are absolutely embedded in technology change.”

McVey also suggested that employee engagement would increase in importance to HR in the near future. “Ensuring that the employee base is completely aligned to the CEO’s corporate growth objectives is fundamental,” he said. “We’re seeing, for example, some corporates such as Accenture, Deloitte and GE starting to do away with performance management ratings.

“I think that’s the beginning of the first bold step to ask ‘how are we engaging our employees? How are we motivating them and empowering them? And how are we making sure we’re actually aligning them to what really matters to driving our business forward?’"

He added: “Engaging these employees through technology, encouraging them because they are used to giving opinions and collaborating digitally, is a great opportunity for corporates to grasp.”