Generational differences in the workplace are real, especially in regards to technology. Baby boomers are less comfortable with technology due to the frequent changes and overload of options. While some of these differences can cause miscommunication and strife, they also present opportunities for businesses to take the initiative for employees to work together and build stronger teamwork skills.
Training and Experience
Older generations of workers may lack up-to-date skills for using technology. They may also lack the confidence and initiative to learn new technological skills on their own. Employers that offer on-the-job training such as self-directed learning modules and in-person training sessions may be able to boost the confidence and skills of these workers. The baby boomer generation generally has less confidence and use for technology in the workplace, typically preferring in-person interactions. Employers that would like to boost technology and innovation may need to encourage baby boomers to consider ways that technology can help them communicate with their younger coworkers such as by pairing an older worker with less technological training with a younger worker who has plenty of experience using different technologies.
Baby boomers are less likely to make use of the newest innovations in workplace technology. This even includes older technology such as email, with baby boomers 27 percent less likely to use email than members of Generation X, reports the LexisNexis Technology Gap Survey . The baby boomer generation is also less comfortable than younger workers in using laptop computers, smartphones, text messaging, tablets and apps. The lack of comfort of baby boomers means that these workers may be more difficult to reach after hours, are less likely to network with coworkers and may engage in less frequent communication with supervisors and other staff.
The baby boomer generation generally has a lower regard for the use and importance of technology in the workplace. They tend to be more interested in in-person meetings, face-to-face conversations and telephone calls. Human resources staff and supervisors may need to emphasize the benefits of technology in the workplace such as increased productivity, enhanced creativity and easier problem-solving.