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5 Tips for Digital Transformation from Millennials

Ryan Raiker,Ema Roloff

November 23, 2020

digital transformation tips from millennials | ABBYY Blog Post

OKAY, BOOMER! Here are 5 tips for your Digital Transformation from the Millennials

It’s official. As of 2019, the Millennial generation is now America’s largest generation, and by 2030 we will make up to 75% of the workforce. If that wasn’t enough of an incentive to listen, we are poised to make a pretty big impact with our buying power of an estimated $1.4 Trillion in 2020. It is time to start listening closely to the generation coined as the “digital natives” to guide your Digital Transformation journey.

In case you’re wondering “what is a millennium anyhow?” Well, that’s a period of one thousand years, but since you might still be wondering what the heck is a millennial, CNN reports that studies often use those born between 1981–1996 to define millennials, but sometimes 1980–2000.

Here are 5 tips from those millennials for navigating your enterprise Digital Transformation strategy:

1. Start with why

The fact one of a child’s first words is oftentimes "mine" points to the fact that we as human beings are inherently selfish creatures. While we are able to rise above this ego-centric mindset from time to time, we revert to our nature during times of stress. And boy do we all know how stressful digital changes at work are.

There's absolutely no denying that change is stressful. In order to get buy-in from your entire team, you need to help them understand “What’s in it for me?” This starts with explaining the “Why” behind your digital transformation. When you share the reasoning behind the decision to dive headfirst into a change project or a large digital transformation, your team will naturally start to shape that why into their “What’s in it for me?” statement. When people, especially millennials feel connected to the end goal, they are more likely to participate in actively getting results faster.

digital transformation strategy

Bonus Tip: Use data to help people understand why. Millennials are a generation of likes, views, and instant gratification. If you can use data to support your why behind your goals and vision for digital transformation, rather than what Susan in accounting 'feels' needs to change, you will gather buy-in much quicker.

2. Culture means more than free snacks and Ping-Pong tables

Digital transformation is bigger than just technology – it’s a way of thinking, it’s change management, it’s a new culture that encourages using data intelligence and creativity to innovate. Cultural situations are complex and are often the last thought about topic in digital change initiatives, but perhaps it should be the first.

When it comes to millennials, we love options. It’s why we love streaming services with endless libraries of titles at our fingertips. Strict policies, with limited options, generally hold us to old practices that are no longer valid. Work from home today? Hmmm...Maybe I will. We take great pride in making these decisions. Empower your team with decisions, and allow them the room to pivot as needed.

Not every decision made or option explored will be successful when on this journey. If you properly enable your team and make them feel valued on a cultural level they can use those unsuccessful initiatives as an opportunity for growth. Every lesson learned and applied allows you to recalibrate your efforts and adjust expectations. Helping your team to understand the iterative process of true transformation will help you maximize your innovation efforts.

3. Sometimes I just want to talk to a person...

95% of enterprise transformation leaders said they are looking for new ways to interact with their customers in the post-COVID landscape. When you are looking to reinvent your processes, be intentional with what portions of the process you hand off any customer interaction to a bot or automation.

digital transformation tips from millennials

Oh, an automated response system. Great. Not what I needed right now – OPERATOR! OPERATOR! SUPPORT! SUPPORT! 0! 0! 0! 0! Get me somebody, get me a human being.

Focus your intelligent automation solutions on repetitive tasks and getting your human workers the information they need to solve problems, rather than trying to automate every aspect of a process. Want to make me irrationally angry when I am having a problem? Make me enter information into an automated phone system, forward me to the wrong place, then make me repeat myself when I finally do get to an actual person. It’s convenient until it is not, and we will leave you faster than a senior on the last day of school when the last period bell rings.

Instead, use the automated process to gather the information that enables a real, live person, with empathy and critical thinking skills to help me solve my problem quickly. You need to integrate your operations so that you can have a single “conversation” with your customer.

4. Loyalty? You're joking, right?

Jimmy Fallon taught us in the 2005 romantic comedy Fever Pitch, to question our loyalty to the brands we love...“You love the Sox. But have they ever loved you back?” The Sox never loved any of us back. And if you are reading from the UK, I promise Arsenal hasn’t loved you back either. If you have ever loved a sports team, then you understand the fandom of a young boy and his favorite sports team, but moreover, you know they never loved you back.

digital transformation strategy

Even if you have earned my loyalty in the past, it is a fickle thing. Lose sight of meeting my needs, making me feel special or you make doing business with you too hard? I am going to go find someone else to do business with.

It’s wonderful that you have a cool website, a nice contact form, and witty social media posts, but your operations need to transform end-to-end to meet my expectations. Your digital transformation needs to seamlessly integrate Digital Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation, Business Process Management, and great customer service. I don’t care why it took you three weeks to issue my refund after I submitted a return. I’ll find someone that can do it better next time. It’s too late, I have written you off. “Ya' lost me, and I’m not coming back.”

5. Make it Simple

A successful digital transformation focuses on serving your tech-savvy customers and employees with new processes that are enabled by technology. Simple and streamlined is the name of the game.

Just because “this is the way we’ve always done it” doesn’t mean it is the right way and doesn’t necessarily make it the best option either. Your transformation is the time to get your process right. Lean on your millennial employees to offer up new ideas of how things could be simplified and use data to find inefficiencies or bottlenecks in your process.

digital transformation tips from millennials

If you are able to take our advice, it will benefit more than just your Millennial employees and customers. While we are pointing out the lessons that can be learned from our generation, these are truths that are universal in our ever-changing world.

Be the leader that changes the motto in their organizations and wins the millennial buyer every time! It’s time to move on from "this is the way we've always done it" to "why the heck did we ever do it any other way?"

Written by Ryan Raiker, ABBYY, and Ema Roloff, Naviant

About Naviant

Naviant logo

Naviant helps companies digitally transform by simplifying business processes and empowering people with automation technology. For over 30 years, Naviant has provided business process consulting and solutions around document management, enterprise content management, content services, and robotic process automation (RPA). We focus on improving your processes first. Then, we implement technology to deliver custom and scalable digital transformation solutions that allow our clients to make better and faster decisions. To learn more about Naviant, please visit

Digital Transformation

Ryan Raiker

Ema Roloff Naviant

Ema Roloff

Digital Transformation and Change Management Expert

Ema is focused on helping people learn about Digital Transformation and the value that it brings to an organization. She enjoys interacting with clients and building partnerships to help find solutions to their business process challenges. When she isn’t talking about Digital Content Strategy, she is chasing after her two toddlers, spending time outside or trying to perfect her yoga headstand. Follow her on LinkedIn to learn more about leading change with technology.

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