Despite differences on technology use and generational stereotypes, workplace cohorts agree on career aspirations
Multiple generations of workers co-existing in today’s labor force have different views on the use of technology and carry stereotypes about their older or younger cohorts, but are in general agreement when it comes to career aspirations, according to a report from CompTIA, the world’s leading technology association.
“Across generations, employees are looking for financial security, rewarding work that they feel passionate about, and some level of work/life balance,” said Anna Matthai, senior manager, research and market intelligence, CompTIA.
The report, “Managing the Multigenerational Workforce,” examines how generational issues are changing workforce dynamics.
The Millennial generation is now the largest portion of the workforce – approximately 35 percent, or 56 million workers. The nation’s workforce also includes an estimated 53 million Gen Xers and 41 million Baby Boomers.
CompTIA surveyed approximately 1,000 business professionals whose ages span a huge chasm; in some cases, 40 years or more. Some themes, however, are common across generations.
Yet even with the consensus on career aspirations, the CompTIA report identifies other areas of conflict and differing opinions among the generations that can have serious 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 percent said that the degree to which an organization embraces technology and innovation is a factor in influencing where they work. That compares to 66 percent among Gen Xers and 53 percent for Baby Boomers. When it comes to tech savviness, almost six in 10 Millennial workers give their employer a net positive rating compared to 38 percent of Boomers.
“The millennial generation doesn’t settle for the status quo,” said Jessie Devine, community engagement manager for QuoteWerks and a member of the CompTIA Future Leaders Community.
“We are constantly looking for new ways to become more efficient with our time, which directly impacts our productivity,” Devine continued. “Adapting to new technology is essential to enhancing our work performance, which is why I believe our generation prefers companies that embrace innovation and technology in the workplace.”
Cloud-based applications continue to make gains – When it comes to the use of software applications for work-related purposes, 51 percent of Millennials report using online/cloud-based tools for word processing and spreadsheets, compared to 33 percent 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.
The complete CompTIA report “Managing the Multigenerational Workforce” is available at https://www.comptia.org/resources/managing-the-multigenerational-workforce-2018.
The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a leading voice and advocate for the $4.8 trillion global information technology ecosystem; and the more than 35 million industry and tech professionals who design, implement, manage, and safeguard the technology that powers the world’s economy. Through education, training, certifications, advocacy, philanthropy, and market research, CompTIA is the hub for advancing the tech industry and its workforce. For more information, visit www.comptia.org.