Today’s workplace is made up of a mix of generations, from traditionalists, baby boomers, generation X, generation Y to the Millennials. The generations have different communication styles, work style and attitudes. With the rapid technological changes the generations have conflicting opinions concerning the use and uptake of technology. Personally, being a Gen-Y, I have had issues trying to understand each other with a Traditionalist on technological matters.
According to a report published by CompTIA, most employees generally have similar career goals, including financial security, being passionate about their work, and work-life balance. However, the report indicated that when it comes to work methodologies the generations differ and especially in relation to technology.
Although the awareness of automation trends is reasonably high across the generations, their opinions are mixed on what it means. For instance, there are differing opinions concerning automation such as factory automation or autonomous vehicles. The younger generations have concerns on the possibility of losing jobs due to automation in the workplace going by the automation trends. In recent times there has been a lot of discussions about robots replacing humans in the workplace especially in IT and manufacturing industries.
In modern times, technology seems to be a crucial factor for younger workers when they are making employment decisions. Many companies are also desperately in need of the technology skills which is provided by the millennials. A company with technology capabilities will attract the best talent, particularly for younger employees. This may be attributed to the fact that the younger employees have grown up with technology.
In terms of technology usage the younger employees tend to prefer mobile applications and cloud based applications for work purposes. Such tendencies have given rise to remote working that enables employees to work from anywhere outside the office.
While older employees want to center their attention on making the existing technology more user-friendly, the Millenials prefer faster implementation of new improved technologies.
The millennials have the tech skills and energy that companies need to survive in the digital era. Although millennials tend to be collaborative and overly communicative, this does not go down well with older workers who are not used to rely on technology. To avoid conflicts among the different generations, a company should be aware of how each generation acknowledges the use of technology.
Different generations have varying preference when it comes to say, communication, when the older generation prefer emails the younger ones prefer instant messaging. Incorporating the generational differences in training and mentoring will go a long way in mitigating conflicts.
Most important, all employees should focus on achieving the larger goals of their company. When clear expectations are set, the workers, regardless of their age or generation should contribute to the success of a company. The management should ensure that each person is encouraged to operate at their own best level. A good strategy is to identify the strengths of each generation and use them to the benefit of the company.