Honestly, one of the most annoying habits of my college-aged niece and my high school-aged nephews is their near refusal to answer the phone. Texting seems to elicit better responses, albeit, sometimes not as much or as often as I’d like. I know they’re actively in touch with their peers. I guess I have to accept that their aunt is lower on the totem pole.
So, if you’re employing Millennials, consider that their similar communications habits. In a world overrun with 50 ways to communicate, they are dependent on their ability to control their world, starting with the phone. I admit I don’t like the constant disruption of the phone, either. It breaks concentration when uninterrupted, focused time is a precious commodity these days. That’s a lesson for all of us.
Hey, maybe these whippersnappers are on to something!
“You shouldn’t be surprised that Millennials won’t answer the phone. However, their excuses might surprise you.”
Calls can sever focus, disrupt work flow, and draw people away from crucial projects.
- Texting allows users to respond at a convenient time between tasks.
Calls presume that the person you are calling should drop everything and adhere to your agenda.
- Texting (like email) is passive communication that doesn’t presume a real-time interaction.
Calls give the perception of more airtime, so callers can neglect to gather the necessary information up front and will talk out loud until they land on the intended message.
- Texting forces you to put your thoughts into words, which can be edited or condensed, and allows you to communicate the essential information for maximum efficiency.
Missed calls result in phone tag, a supremely idiotic and unnecessary game in an age of bountiful communication alternatives.
- If a picture is worth a thousand words, is an emoji worth 500? Texting is effective and efficient. Ninety percent of all SMS text messages are read within three minutes.
The time costs of a “quick five-minute call” can exceed 20 minutes, including the salutations, pleasantries, small talk, goodbyes, and time it takes to refocus on the original task, which, some experts say, can take 23 minutes after a disruption.
- Texting limits unnecessary salutations and the exchange of irrelevant information, and the time cost can be as low as a few seconds
Probably time for older employers to adapt to their employees behavior. At the same time, I hope Millennials realize, soon, that texting lacks tone and sometimes you need tone to make sense of what’s being communicated. That’s not a bad two-way street.