by Cody Lents, partner and customer steward, COVI, Inc.

As business leaders, we have a lot on our plates to accommodate a new worldview and attract the next generation of talent. Decent pay and a job are no longer enough to lure prospective employees, at least not the ones we want. Businesses must stay informed and honestly care about our people and the issues they face daily. To retain our employees, we must guide them to a better future at home and work.

The future of IT is more than just using technology to automate, streamline, and manage operations as much as possible. It’s aligning it to enhance the employee and customer experience, increasing internal cultural, and external delivery demands. The problem is that the more tech we use, the more tech we must end up managing. This requires expensive skill sets and nuanced management skills. Leaders have been quick to adopt expensive skill sets; however, quality management is lacking.

Few companies are equipped with the technology to accommodate both the older and younger generations. Millennials will make up about 75% of the workforce by 2025. Gen Z has spent most of their lives with fast and efficient internet access, along with smart and portable devices that are constantly connecting each other to the world at large. 91% of Gen Z employees say the company’s technological sophistication impacts their decision to work there. 10% of employees (no matter the generation) have walked away from a job due to technological frustrations. And the complication doesn’t end with office tech. After all, 37% of millennials say working with multiple devices is challenging and stressful, and they don’t want to switch from a computer or phone for work and life activities.

It’s true that the older the generation – the less likely they are to adapt to ever-changing technology. There is a common stereotype that veteran employees resist technology and new workflows because it will require too much stress and a departure from the way they’ve been operating for decades. In reality, many of these people have seen several changes. From typewriters to computers, from mail to fax to email, older generations have continued to adjust their workflows and are much more adaptable to technology changes than many realize.

Simply put, old technology solutions do not allow companies to keep up with many current-day issues, including employee retention. Additionally, poorly implemented new tech won’t deliver solutions to these issues either. Technological choices and implementation can largely impact your company and your employees’ success, culture, productivity, happiness, and of course, loyalty. This directly correlates to what your customer’s experience.

Unfortunately, IT teams often have their hands tied when it comes to keeping up with modern tech because of the amount of time it takes to maintain old technology and security needs. We must make tech training beneficial, entertaining, and easy to keep individuals of all generations engaged. This starts by, fully explaining the company’s values, making the technology and process easy to understand, and investing in a multi-faceted approach to implementing new tech. There also must be a designated place for employees to get answers and present questions for any tech-related concerns. These tactics ensure that IT teams have the time, process, and tools they need to successfully support the company culture. It’s more than just tech. It’s people.

We can eliminate employee turnover issues. We can attract top talent. But to do so, we must evolve.

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