More than ever before, technology is at the center of our lives – and that’s not going to change. But what does it mean for workplaces when four different generations bring their tech-related experiences to the job?
Now, don’t worry. This isn’t a piece that favors one generation’s tech-savvy over another. We know that people of every age can be highly adept at technology. Yet, there are some very real ways that different generations have experienced technology during their lifetimes:
- Boomers (born: 1946–1964) came of age during a time when computers took up entire rooms and were the first generation to own personal desktop computers.
- GenX (born: 1965–1980) watched the explosive growth of technology happen in real-time and hit their career strides as web technology significantly changed the workplace.
- Millennials (born: 1981–1996) are the first generation to join a tech-driven, online-first workplace and are more likely to use only a laptop, tablet, or smartphone at home.
- Gen Z (born: 1997–2012) have lived most of their lives with the internet, social media, and smartphones; many are now entering the workplace and only know a work-from-home world.
So, when you think about tech usage and adoption through this lens, the question becomes: “How could their technology expectations and preferences not be different?”
If you’re considering an AV implementation, here are some tips to ensure you consider the different tendencies and relationships with technology among members of your team.
Tip #1: Ask for Input
Thinking about new AV solutions for an entire facility or enterprise? Step one should include a check-in with high-influence members of the team. Involve individuals from every age and functional group. Ask them about their:
- Biggest technology pain points
- Workflows, use cases, and unmet needs
- Use of technology to drive priorities and achieve goals
Taking this human-first approach will benefit you beyond generational preferences. It allows you to identify the solutions best designed to help everyone adopt the technology and be more productive.
Tip #2: Choose a Consistent Interface
When implementing an AV solution for collaboration, look for options with a consistent interface. This way, employees aren't forced to learn how to use multiple platforms – it’s consistent from space to space and from meeting to meeting.
In addition, look for simplicity for an improved user experience. We’re now in a click-to-join world, and anything more complicated wastes time and adds unnecessary frustration to what should be a seamless experience.
Tip #3: Lead with Benefits
When announcing a new solution, be sure to heavily focus your communication efforts on the benefits. This ties back to your input gathering. And it motivates people to get beyond the initial learning curve and start using the new tech to achieve their goals.
Tip #4: Offer Training/Support in a Variety of Ways
While some of your team will dive right in and figure things out, other people may prefer a job aid or coaching of some kind. So when possible, offer a variety of training or support options when you implement new technology solutions.
Think about the five most common use cases and start there. Then, regularly remind people about the tools you have available. Want to overachieve? Commit to building a workplace culture where nobody feels penalized or awkward about not knowing how to use new tech. Make it acceptable to ask for help or get paired with someone who can offer hands-on guidance. Everyone learns differently and brings unique tech comfort levels to the workplace – regardless of generation.
Tip #5: Observe Use Cases – Continue to Ask for Input
Once you’ve deployed a new tech solution, be sure to pay attention to how your team uses it. Ask for frequent updates about whether or not the solution helps simplify day-to-day work. Are they able to collaborate more efficiently? Does the technology help or hinder productivity?
Help people meet, collaborate, and communicate effortlessly
If your goal is to help people meet, collaborate, and communicate effortlessly (which we hope it is), it makes sense to consider how different people within your organization feel about and use technology.
Taking the extra steps outlined here will help you discover and accommodate a variety of tech preferences – and help you shift from your team just using solutions to enthusiastically adopting them. That’s the path to solid ROI for your organization.
Need recommendations on how to select and implement an AV solution that’s easy for everyone to use? We can help.