Embracing New Technology in a Multi-Generational Workplace

There’s no denying the challenges that come with rolling out new technology in a multi-generational workplace.  With most organizations consisting of four generations – Veterans (born before 1946), Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964), Generation X (born 1965-1980), and Millennials (born after 1981) – management must consider both the technology needs of their business as well as their users’ generational differences.  Each generation brings its own unique approach to technology and communication as well as training preferences and learning styles.

To ensure a high adoption rate, consider the following before rolling out new communications technology.

Offer a Variety of Learning Methods

There are distinct differences in training preferences between generations.  Millennials, who grew up using the Internet, tend to gravitate toward tech-based education and also thrive in team environments.  That makes them the perfect candidates for online learning in team-based environments.  Generation X shares many of these preferences, but prefers working independently than in teams.

On the other hand, Baby Boomers and Veterans grew up in the traditional classroom, so scheduled group hands-on workshops are best.

Embrace Reverse Mentoring

In most cases, more experienced employees have mentored newcomers, sharing their knowledge and expertise on everything from organizational processes to leadership skills.  However, younger generations now have the knowledge and expertise related to technical skills that their more senior colleagues need.

With a better understanding of the nuances of the digital era, Millennials can be tapped to help Generation Xers and Baby Boomers integrate new forms of communications, including web chat, social media, and web conferencing into their workday.

Establish a Blended Communications Program

With multiple generations in the workforce, you can’t assume everyone will embrace new communication tools immediately.  Instead, plan to deliver news, updates and training programs using a variety of channels.  For example, short updates via web chat will catch the attention of your Millennials, while instructions via email are usually preferred by Baby Boomers.

So, when introducing new technology to the workplace, be sure to consider the generational differences within your organization and adapt your rollout, communication, and training programs to accommodate the needs of each generation.  Still, it’s important to remember that the purpose is to increase adoption across the entire enterprise.  The end goal of the steps above is to help all generations embrace and use the same communications tools.

Are You Getting the Most from the Cloud?

Forrester indicates that spending on cloud computing is expected to top $160 billion around the globe by 2020 – a growth rate of 22% per year – it’s no secret that cloud technology is becoming an essential part of modern business. But along with the implementation of new cloud computing services comes the challenges that come with adopting any new technology- inefficiency.

Inefficiency can mean your employees aren’t working at full capacity or equipment, software, and features you have invested in are sitting unused.

If you want to make your cloud computing services, such as cloud VoIP, CRM, and other options, work for you instead of against you, keep reading for five ways to maximize your efficiency with the cloud.

  1. Put Cloud Computing Policies in Place

While security is certainly an issues of top concern when it comes to cloud computing, that’s not the only policy that your company should have in place to protect efficiency. It is important to ensure that you have protocols for managing your cloud resources – from personnel to procedural. This way those critical elements like security and support do not fall into a dreaded zone where everyone believes they are someone else’s responsibility. The sooner your company can get this type of policy in place, the better.

  1. Ensure Your Cloud Apps Communicate

Some estimates suggest that by 2018, business will have up to 27 services in the cloud that were previously in house. However, it is not enough to simply move these services to a cloud system. For maximum efficiency, these services need to actually be able to communicate with one another. For instance, a cloud VoIP can offer advantages in phone communications, but when the system is also integrated with a cloud CRM, productivity can skyrocket.

  1. Take Advantage of Reliability

One of the key ways in which cloud computing services can improve efficiency is by allowing systems to stay up. When software lives off site, it can stay up and functioning – and be accessed remotely – even in the event of downtime in the office, including outages, natural disasters, and other unforeseen circumstances. Make sure that employees know how to use cell phones and home offices to access your cloud systems so that you can take advantage of this standard of reliability.

  1. Use Cloud for Frequent Updates

Some software and systems are updated a lot more frequently than others. Looking to the cloud for these particular services is a great option because those updates will happen automatically and generally at no cost to you. This means you will always be working with the latest version and the best possible tools, ensuring efficiency well beyond standard on-premise solutions.

  1. Utilize Your IT Department

One of the biggest advantages of systems like cloud VoIP is that your IT department does not have to spend their precious hours supporting your phone system or whatever service you decide to take to the cloud. You can use this opportunity to leverage your IT department for bigger business goals – whatever that means for your company.

Cloud computing is here to stay. But as you continue to invest in it, be sure that you are using it to its full capacity and taking advantage of the efficiencies it has to offer.