Not Another Millennial Article

Millenials

These days it seems that each week, there’s a new article on Millennials in the workplace and how their professional expectations are vastly different then the generations before them.  We sat down with Chris Wiegand, CEO of Jibestream and AceTech Ontario CEO member, to find out how he’s adapted to the newest generation in the workforce and how he’s made it work in Jibestream’s favour.

The first thing employers need to understand is that many Millennials are not motivated by compensation the same way their parents and grandparents were.  It is still a key consideration, however, there are other significant factors that come into play.  Chris notes that a Millennial’s desire to constantly learn, grow and be challenged is a much stronger factor, if not the most important, when considering a place of employment.  “We have to make sure we rotate people throughout the company so they don’t get bored”, says Chris, “we want them to feel like ‘yes I’m not just doing the same work over and over again, I’m learning, I’m part of R&D, next week I’m part of something else’. Although it’s not always or practical to rotate people in their roles but we are very conscious of keeping people engaged.”

Impraise Blog states “according to a study by Intelligence Group, 72 percent of millennials want to be their own bosses at work. If they do have a boss, 79 percent of them state that they want their bosses to serve as a coach or a mentor. The research explains that there is a need for a performance management system designed to guide employees into being more equipped experts in their line of business.” Chris has recognized this among his employees and has noticed that annual or even quarterly reviews are not sufficient anymore.  He has ensured that his employees are having weekly 1 on 1’s with their supervisors.  These meetings are not simply about what the employee’s current tasks are, but what’s working for them and what’s not working for them.  Chris has found that if they do not have the opportunity to do this, the frustrations they are having will fester and soon they will be looking at job boards.  These meetings are also key to ensuring that your employees are continuing to work towards their goals. “It’s important to make a clear growth trajectory for people, so that when you start someone off in a role, even on inside sales, that you have a clear path for them to be enterprise sales person, if that’s what they want to be”, explains Chris.

When it comes to employee retention, Chris says that “the more you teach, the more they get out of it and the longer they stay. Eventually they’ll leave on great terms and you’ll get the best out of that person for those X years”.  It’s also important to continually gauge the temperature of your employees, be open to changes and to try new things.  When Jibestream adopted Slack, Chris felt uneasy when he saw hundreds of giphys go across the app.  However, he’s realized that Millennials appear to be very strong at multi tasking and despite all the memes, his employees are hard working.

Chris has discovered that when recruiting Millennials, transparency and social accountability are paramount.  “I think things like Instagram and Facebook are good because they allow people to see your culture. They say a picture is work 1,000 words.  We share a lot of pictures and 80% of them are probably the office dogs”, laughs Chris, “but people can now start to fill in the blanks and understand the work environment and see themselves fitting in here – we try to make sure everything is consistent and representative of the workplace”.  In addition, you’ll notice on Jibestream’s job board, they are very honest about potential challenges a candidate may have in that position.  This results in interviewing candidates who can see themselves fitting into the environment and welcoming the challenges that they may face.

Chris feels that it’s important for his fellow CEOs to remember that Millennials do not make up 100% of the workforce.  “Don’t change everything you do to be universal for this group of people. The challenge is to make sure it’s still a dynamic management system”.  He feels it is important to not let the emergence of a new generation in the workforce change your whole company.

At the end of the day, Chris feels it ultimately comes down to emotional intelligence. “It’s about how you should be best addressing each different type of person in your group and then managing to that. Your managers are going to have to manage one person maybe slightly different than the other but still make it fair”.

 

The Importance of Context and Personalization Through Indoor Maps

Contribution by AceTech Ontario CEO Member Chris Wiegand of Jibstream

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAmAAAAAJDg2MjQxMTEyLTI3ZjMtNDY5Mi1hNzZmLTg1MjE1NTJjZjA5Yw“Location, location, location” has long been the buzz phrase for finding a home or business. It applies equally well to understanding the exact whereabouts and proximity of someone in the context of a map within a building. Knowing a person’s location in real time is the most important element in being able to enhance their Experience of Place, as well as creating a myriad of other operational value.

Anything from the mall tenant base to building control and parking systems are now capable of becoming interoperable. By using indoor mapping as the base platform to connect these disparate information systems, you provide a much more contextual end-user experience.

In its simplest form, notification and alerts can be sent out to re-direct someone around a broken escalator. In more sophisticated uses, machine learning and prescriptive responses can be applied to enhance an Experience of Place, delivering information that’s both personalized and highly contextual.

It’s important to note that “personalized and contextual” isn’t always (nor should it be) about delivering a marketing-based message. It’s great to receive an offer from your favorite retailer for a product you love, but there may be even greater value in receiving a message that directs you to a reserved parking space closest to the entrance of the store you plan to visit first.

The noteworthy, near-term opportunity is for the ‘app’ to begin to know you, your habits and preferences. It can then provide timely advice, such as the most efficient route to your next destination with suggested stops along the way based on previous behavior.

We’re already seeing these types of experiences being enabled with Virtual Private Assistants such as Apple’s Siri. This leads to the road of an ‘app-less’ world, where users benefit from the data of native apps and location awareness without actually having to download a native application. This may be the key that unlocks and marries these experiences for the mainstream.

Are we there yet? Not quite, but many of the puzzle pieces are coming together. One thing is certain: an indoor mapping platform needs to deliver contextually-meaningful information to users, based on where they are and what’s going on around them.

So what does this all mean for the stakeholders creating these end-user experiences? Likely a fairly equal number of benefits and challenges…but I’ll save that topic for next time!