Talking to millennials, SA-style

13 October 2020 Tenaka

If you Google “how to speak to millennials”, you’re going to get a huge amount of information thrown at you. It will talk about how this generation values constructive feedback most, or want to advance their careers. But what we forget is that these articles, for the most part, are not talking about South African millennials.

It’s a sad fact that the Internet is very Americentric. Consequently, much of the data we get about the largest section of the workforce isn’t actually SA-relevant. When you start talking to South Africans currently aged between 25 and 39, that you realise we really need to change the way we think about how we communicate. This is part of the reason Tenaka has launched a data-free online communication platform. We want to help you get in touch with your humans more easily.

South African millennials have different concerns, needs and wants as far as their communication needs go. Here are a few of the key differences, and how to leverage them, in combination with the data-free platform, to keep communicating smoothly with your millennial employees..

Educate to elevate

Where American millennials want to advance in their careers, South African millennials are all about getting educated. This generation has often faced the challenges of inadequate schooling, and they hold the opportunity to learn very dear. They are not afraid to take learning into their own hands, either.

How you can use this: Talk to your employees about what they would like to learn, and how best to facilitate it. Thanks to the availability of numerous online learning options, you can help them access anything the ideal learning.

Tech savvy, tech poor

Millennials in Europe and North America are known for being early-adopters of every piece of new tech. This is in stark comparison with a place like South Africa, where only a select few can afford to keep up with the latest iPhone. But that doesn’t mean South African millennials are tech illiterate – quite the opposite. Whether it’s the most basic entry-level smartphone or the latest Samsung, they certainly understand the tech’s capabilities.

How you can use this: If all you can afford is the basic device and prepaid data, you don’t want cumbersome, data-heavy apps – you want streamlined, simple and light. To keep your teams in touch, focus on platforms that are easy and inexpensive to access.

Data is expensive. Really expensive

Most of South Africa’s internet-connected devices are using prepaid data. The less data you buy, the more expensive it gets per unit. Unfortunately, many people can only buy small amounts at a time. And that’s not even mentioning the ongoing data expiry saga. Data costs for South African millennials also skyrocketed during lockdown, and are likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

How you can use this: Find platforms that use minimal or zero data for your employees to use, like the data-free platform. Ours is certainly not the only one out there, so find one that suits your company’s and employees’ needs.

Social is life

Even beset by all the connectivity issues that they face daily, South Africa’s millennials across all working demographics love social media. Thanks to platforms like Facebook also being available as no-data options, it’s an easy, inexpensive way to keep in touch with your network.

How you can use this: By offering data-free or data-friendly options to communicate, your employees will be more likely to stay in touch. Many teams will remain separated or far-flung over the next several months, and may stay that way permanently. The easier it is to stay in touch, the more likely it is to happen.

Most importantly, don’t solely rely on what articles and blogs tell you to do. Your employees are the most important factor in the communication equation. Don’t ask someone else how to talk to them, ask them. Find out from your humans how they would like to be communicated with – you never know, they might have some ideas you (or this blog writer) never thought of. Revolutionise communications… by communicating.

The Tenaka data-free platform isn’t just about internal messaging, it’s about so much more. From sharing Covid-19 information to presenting awards, to offering training, you can do it all, without your humans needing to burn through their data. Get in touch with us to find out more about this versatile, customisable app.

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