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Understanding Current Generational Differences in a Workforce

Posted by: waadmin
Category: eLearning
Generational Differences in a Workforce

Over the past ten years, technology has snuck its way into places of work, schools and everyday life. As new technology now infuses its way not only into our personal lives but also now our professional lives, it causes an obvious divide between older demographics and the younger generation.

Because of technology, people no longer need to be present at the workplace every time. Employees can engage in other important works outside the office, and keep in touch, even face-to-face with your colleagues at the office through video chats, team communication apps, and conferences.

Pew reported that the number of adults now logging online has grown and now roughly two thirds of adults (68%) use some form of social media. It also reported that the number has been growing since 2012 but has now stopped since 2016.

Research shows from 2017, that 88% of Millennials use social media as a way of communicating with their bosses, peers and the rest of their workforce. However, less than 10% of Baby Boomers use Twitter, Google plus, Linkedin and Instagram. We can see our first issue.

Entrepreneur Europe reported that ‘in 2008, there were zero big-data architects on LinkedIn. In 2013, there were 3,440. (It might not come as a surprise that nearly 70 percent of parents admit they don’t have a clear understanding of their children’s jobs).

The rise of technology also has created a demand for tech skills. A study from Manpower Group revealed a lack of available talent has caused 39 percent of U.S. employers difficulty in hiring new employees.

When they do find talent, it’s typically in the younger employee. The median age of workers at successful tech companies is well below 35.

The type of technologies that Traditionalists and Baby Boomers grew up with were radio and the fax machine and these were all new as they started to come into the world of work. Now, this age group are having to learn how to use computers, phones, the internet and social media.

The workplace is changing at an ever-increasing pace, and everything seems new to them. Now, Generation X and Millennials. The same technologies that are new to Traditionalists and Boomers are part of their lives for the younger generations and have been for a long time now.

As we know, newsrooms are now shrinking due to media outlets moving themselves online and becoming heavily technology based however this means kicking out the older workers who can’t work their way around it and employing youthful individuals who may be inexperienced in the job, but experienced online.

New job titles such as ‘a social media intern’ or a ‘Alexa skills developer’ did not exist ten years ago meaning that this new influx of technology is creating new jobs in all businesses.

I’m sure it can be easy for most managers to disadvantage older workers who perhaps can’t keep up or aren’t as ‘media savvy’ as most, however, the key may be to take advantage of this. Different generations in a workplace should be able to learn from each other. Most young employees might be able to learn a thing or two from the senior employees and of course the younger employees can teach the older workers how to get online and help shift their mentality.

It’s possible for the gap to be closed as long as all employers give all employees a voice. Regardless of age and tenure, all employees need a forum in which to present ideas, concerns and complaints and it’s important to accommodate for different demographics.

A young millennial may have a friend she’s meeting in the evening, a Generation Xer might need to leave on time so that he can pick up his kids from school, and a Baby Boomer may need to care for an aging parent every day. Employers need to put forward policies designed to serve everyone that can allow companies to take advantage of diverse talent and use technology, like learning management systems, to close many of the gaps it has formed.

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author: molly


Hi, I am a journalism student working as a freelance journalist. Hope you enjoy!
Molly Clayton