You’ve probably heard the adage, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” For a Millennial, that falls a little bit short. Not only do we want work to be fulfilling and rewarding, we also want it to be fun. And lest I perpetuate the misconception that Millennials are terrible – here’s why that’s a good thing. Creating a work experience that is fun and meaningful is less about entitlement and more about engagement, and that benefits employees of every age. With the NowEnterprise as the next generation Intranet, it’s possible to meet the needs of the next generation workforce and their desire to make work valuable, satisfying, and, oh yeah – fun.
As productivity tools make it possible to work anytime, from anywhere, the line between nine-to-five and five-to-nine is increasingly blurred. If I check-in at my favorite coffee shop while I’m working there, why not check-in at an office hotspot? I want the bragging rights that come with being mayor of the North Conference Room! If Google+ recognizes faces from my circles when I upload pictures, then it only makes sense that the NowEnterprise can identify and tag colleagues when I add photos from our corporate volunteer day. Activity motivators like gamification and social networking make work enjoyable, but more importantly, they can be powerful tools for encouraging participation and driving adoption.
Further, if your ultimate goal is to foster critical workplace connections that deliver productivity and bottom-line results, real collaboration isn’t only about sharing expertise and documents. As a die-hard Springsteen fan, one of my first actions within the NowEnterprise was to join the “Jungleland” interest group – the only place where one can “Bruuuuuuuce” with impunity. This interest group provided an introduction to colleagues I never would have encountered in the course of my day-to-day work. When I was placed on a project team with a fellow fan, we had already established a rapport. Skipping the awkward introductions, we were able to hit the ground running. Those few minutes invested in debating “Born to Run” versus “Darkness on the Edge of Town” were returned many times over.
To reach your employees now and in the future, it’s essential to make work gratifying and enriching. As Millennials make up a larger percentage of the workforce, we won’t be talking about fun features as a ‘nice to have’, but as necessary tools for engagement. Because while Millennials do want to have fun, they also expect an enterprise experience that is collaborative, exciting, and meaningful – in other words, the NowEnterprise.