NBCUniversal on engaging the millennial employee

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In a world driven by technology, many long-established companies are challenged by competing with younger technology-centric companies.

Director of Innovation and Strategic Initiative at NBCUniversal, Bob Kurpershoek, joins the CX Network to discuss how NBC are employing leading-edge technology to deliver precisely what is demanded by today’s media consumer. Unlike the Google’s of this world which were predicated on technology, NBCUniversal has a long history and legacy systems to take into account.

Embracing the new paradigm 

The way in which people are consuming television is changing; “If you have kids, they watch TV probably only through iPads, and nobody’s going to tell you to watch a certain TV series. I think the only thing still watched live, is sports and talent shows.” There’s an expectation to watch whatever they want, whenever they want and however they want. 

The Millennial Employee

“Technology, finance and IT are growing closer together. We’re expected to do more, with less people. You’ve got to be more effective and to be able to achieve that, you’re probably going to need technology to help you get there. It’s also something the new kind of worker is expecting from us, so the millennial is on-boarding and coming up in our company and these people are used to using technology in their daily ways of working.”

Reverse mentoring

Because of this generational divide, or evolution, in the way in which people work, expectations are changing. Managers must learn new techniques to motivate their team and they are seeing great CX success from listening to, and learning from, their younger employees. Bob says they’re bringing new ideas, new technologies and finding alternative ways of working; ”they’ve seen a lot of things, they’re used to working with technology…that’s why I believe in reverse mentoring. I’m really observing these people and see what they’re doing and trying to find solutions for the future that we can actually tap into their ways of working.” 

Advancing technologies - being both a leader and a follower

As the technology is developing and getting more advanced, Bob has noticed that Millennials love “testing” these kinds of technologies and wonder, ‘how far can I go with this technology?’ Sometimes, the tech they have at home is actually better than they have in the company! “In the old days, it was the other way around, so now we are starting to see employees bringing their own devices into work”

Inter-departmenal partnering 

Bob really recommends partnering with other parts of the company, and in particular with your IT department; “They have a lot of folks with a lot of knowledge who understand the latest tech. They will also give you another way of looking at things as well, and embracing it only helps to strengthen your business case. On the other side we know the processes of finance much better than IT folks do, of course.”

RPA isn’t your ‘sword to stab everything’

Sometimes, new technology is not necessarily the answer. When it comes to deciding whether you should automate or optimise, updating your current system could be a simpler solution that is more financially feasible. “RPA is not the solution for everything, so be careful during implementation. We sometimes use the capabilities of the system itself.”

Robots replacing humans

Bob does not believe that robots will not replace humans, or steal jobs. Instead he echoes the oft stated professional belief that they will enhance humans, by “making [jobs] easier and getting rid of the mundane tasks… it will help increase employee satisfaction.” 

Find out why Bob says you should hold off on being “the first mover” when it comes to innovation, why and what you should be open-minded about and explains what he means when he says: “When I showcase the art of the possible, the interest is overwhelming!” Click below to listen!