Multiple generations of workers coexisting in today’s labor force have different views on the use of technology and carry stereotypes about their older or younger colleagues, according to a new CompTIA report. However, they are in general agreement when it comes to career aspirations.
The nonprofit technology association’s report, “Managing the Multigenerational Workforce,” examines how generational issues are changing workforce dynamics.
CompTIA surveyed approximately 1,000 business professionals across a wide range of ages — in some cases, 40 years or more. The generations agreed on career aspirations: 65% of all respondents want to achieve financial security, 51% want to do work that they feel passionate about, and 49% would like to achieve a work/life balance.
However, the report also identifies other areas of conflict and differing opinions among the generations that can have management implications for employers.
Millennials embrace technology: A company’s technology capabilities play an important role in attracting the best talent, especially for younger employees. Among millennials, 71% said that the degree to which an organization embraces technology and innovation is a factor in influencing where they work. That compares to 66% among Gen Xers and 53% for baby boomers.
Cloud-based applications continue to make gains: When it comes to the use of software applications for work-related purposes, 51% of millennials report using online/cloud-based tools for word processing and spreadsheets, compared to 33% of baby boomers. Use of collaboration tools such as Slack and Dropbox is higher among younger workers. Millennials are also looking for the faster implementation of new technologies. Older employees want more of a focus on making existing technologies more user-friendly.
Workplace stereotypes persist: The generations clearly do not view the workplace in the same way. Stereotypes about different generations’ work habits persist. For example, nearly two-thirds of baby boomers believe younger workers are not as loyal; and nearly six in 10 said younger workers feel more entitled. Just over half of millennials think older workers are too rigid and set in their ways. Nearly half of Gen Xers surveyed said older workers are not as skilled when it comes to using technology.