The right kind of technology not only impacts productivity and communication, it can also be a major factor in recruiting and retaining top employees, especially for Generation Y.
Outdated technology is not only linked to losses in output, it is also a major turnoff for millennials. If companies want to attract the right talent, and want to keep them engaged, they need to match their technology to the fast-paced, information-driven lifestyle of these Gen Y-ers.
A Background on the Digital Natives
Born in the 1980s to the early 2000s, millennials will account for 75% of the global workforce by 2025. And, at some companies, like Accenture and Ernst & Young, they already account for 2/3 of the entire employee base.
Also known as digital natives, they grew up with 24/7 access to information, when they want it and how they want it. They are used to the ability to regularly update their personal devices to the latest and greatest. By matching these expectations in the office, they will work at faster speeds with devices that suit their personal work style.
“Research shows that workplaces are starting to change how they handle technology and millennials’ desire for technology in their everyday lives and workplace environments,” said a team of researchers at St. Olaf College, studying communication technology in the workplace.
Millennials value technology, and want to find a company that can keep up with their needs. Old, outdated, uncollaborative software just doesn’t fit the bill anymore.
Millenials are becoming a much more important asset to companies everywhere
How Does Outdated Technology Affect the Modern Workplace?
Hinders the recruitment process: The younger generation is always looking forward to the next technological upgrade – the new OS or smartphone, for example. Companies that are stuck with outdated, clunky software just won’t hold the attention of millennials in the recruitment process. According to David Vanheukelom, general manager at financialforce.com, if a company is using outdated tech, “it could lead to questions about how sophisticated the company is.”
Decreases speed and productivity: Outdated technology will only slow down Generation Y. They know how to use the most modern tools, and they know how to use them fast and efficiently. A recent study by IdeaPaint found that 38% of millennials feel outdated collaboration processes hinder their company’s innovation. Millennials are looking to work hard and contribute, but they need the right tools to do so.
The Benefits of Up-to-Date Technology for Millennials
Productivity outside of work: When millennials can access information at any time, from any device, they will most likely work more outside of the office. A 2012 report by LifeCourse found that millennials value the way technology can help them stay constantly connected and collaborate with colleagues to accomplish more. They want to be plugged-in outside of work, and are looking for tools to help boost productivity at any location.
Mentorship opportunities: Seventy-six percent of Gen Y-ers think their bosses could learn a lot from them when it comes to technology, according to an MTV survey. Bridge technology divides by having millennials train other employees when a new tool is introduced to the company. Their innate understanding of the newest tools can be leveraged to provide valuable training opportunities for millennials to shine and for senior workers to learn and grow.
A Dealbreaker in the Workplace
Technology is no longer just a tool to get work done. For millennials and the generations after them, it is a necessary part of their everyday life and can be a dealbreaker in the workplace.
Millennials are not interested in going back in time and learning outdated technology. They are constantly looking forward, and need companies that can follow. Like global research analyst Josh Bersin wrote in Forbes, “Most companies are discovering that supporting and retaining this [millennial] talent requires a new way of doing business.”