One of the defining issues of our times is the generation gap faced by America. There are currently 56 million millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) in the nation's workforce. This makes them the largest working group.
When you compare this to the baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), there are 41 million in the work environment. Divides between these two groups are regularly discussed in the media, particularly in regard to social attitudes.
However, the key divide companies should be paying attention to concerns technology in the workplace. Millennials and boomers have vastly disparate attitudes toward technology. Millennials are, typically, much more eager to embrace new developments.
Boomers meanwhile do not feel supported when it comes to embracing the technologies that will make their jobs and productivity improve. Being able to bridge the generation gap with tech is crucial.
It improves teamwork, heightens productivity, and makes a company more innovative. Here is how organizations can ensure the acceptance of technology by all generations in the workplace.
If you want to ensure that millennial's and baby boomer's technology capabilities are equal, you need to start simple. Integrating user-friendly technology into the workflow is an important first step.
For example, consider replacing your current email platform, and encourage the entire office to switch to an IM and management platform like Slack, Trello, or Microsoft Teams.
Not only does staff get familiar with an essential corporate tech system, but it can also improve employees’ communication options with the use of newer technology and software programs.
Convey the Right Message
When it comes to baby boomers and technology in the workplace, it is critical to set the right tone. You'll want to introduce technology in a way that makes older employees see the benefits.
Rather than imposing it on your workforce, explain why it will help make their jobs easier. You can also appeal to the professional benefits they will accrue by improving their digital skills.
Ensuring that everyone is aware of the benefits of embracing new skills is vital for reducing generational gaps in your workforce.
Different generations and technology are best brought together in a collaborative environment. If employees are struggling with something, let them know they can come to each other for help. Better yet, rent laptops and set up an in-house training program so all employees can have an opportunity to learn and collaborate.
If you have a millennial team that doesn't struggle with tech, ask them to support older employees that may not find it as easy or have them teach the training program.
When employees know that they won't be chastised or humiliated for not knowing something, a more productive environment will flourish.
At the end of the day, whether it is boomers or Gen X and technology, it all comes down to management. Making sure that all employees understand the importance of technology in the workplace is the job of the manager.
The manager should work to bridge differences within the team and foster a culture of learning.
When a company is bringing in a new way of doing things, it is the manager who needs to engage employees and ensure everyone is on board. Without effective management, little can be done to bridge generational divides.
Bridge the Tech Gap with Hartford
If you want to learn how to bring technology into the workplace, there are many ways to do it from conveying the right message to staff to collaborating. The opportunities are endless. Not sure what makes sense for your business? We are here to help with technology rental products and solutions.
Also, make sure you check out our guide to learning in a work environment to see how you can close the tech gap in your team.