An insightful, interesting and enthusiastically driven panel discussion on ‘Can tech integrate multigenerational workforce’ was chaired by Bimal Rath – Founder and MD, Think Talent Services amongst a good generational mix of prominent panelists. GP Rao- the Founder of Good People Relations, Sumit Neogi – VP HR, Reliance Industries, and the two millennial participants Ankita from Sapient along with Ayush representing the student fraternity were all together able to create a great team while discussing how tech is changing and integrating diverse workforce coming from different generations.
The discussion began on how the millennials are fast becoming the largest group in the workforce today, especially within the technology sector. And it’s quite fascinating to see how different generations are working together under one roof in spite of each of these generational members having their own quirks and star qualities. Baby Boomers, Generation X and millennials all bring unique strengths to work, but how do we all come together for an organization’s greater purpose is all about the so called integrator - the ‘Technology’.
Technology is a bridge in a complex paradigm of multi-generational workforce
This fast-moving, technology enabled workplace of today demand high level of tech-savviness and flexibility that the millennial generation has in spades. Ankita very well articulates this philosophy with her crisp “yes”. And GP Rao builds on this further to clearly state that it is technology that has been able to fill the void by acting as a bridge to reduce the distance and discomfort of working together in a complex paradigm of multi-generational workforce. As per Bimal Rath, in such digitally driven workplace, it’s becoming more and more important to make sure the every generation members does something about their digital inclusion.
Sumit Neogi rightly points out that with chat, text and instant messaging, communication has become more short, crisp and to the point. This is aligned with millennials but may not work with older generation many a times. Sometime there has to be a much more thoughtful communication with a relationship building urge at the back of your mind. Hence, in such cases too much dependency on tech tools may hit the ‘inclusiveness’ button. The youngest guy in the panel Ayush surprisingly seconded this thought and reflected strongly on the need for inclusivity with a human angle that can be achieved only through a blended approach to technology.
A new challenge: The FOMO Effect
As we all know how tech has transformed almost every aspect of working life. Employees are being asked to work harder and faster to keep pace with all sorts of digital tools. With the growing use of webinars, presentations, instant messaging, and the overwhelming volume of email in the workplace, a new challenge has crept up. Building on this concept, GP Rao promptly refers to one of the challenges that comes with the overuse of technology. The concept of FOMO that leads to a compulsive desire to stay connected with other people’s lives online has given rise to Digital Detox which in turn is trying to help people experience the physical world at its finest. Hence, it’s also a phase when effective training, mentoring and coaching is needed to help the new generation get over from the clutches of excessive indulgence in technology that’s causing threat to mental and physical well-being of employees.
To summarize, it is seen that millennials have often moved ahead in their adoption and use of technology, however there has also been a significant growth in tech adoption and integration among the previous generations. And technology has very much answered the bell. However, with a reduced need for physical face to face interactions that are emerging amongst generational cohorts, the human touch and inclusivity needs to be re-looked for having a balanced ecosystem. Hence, it’s imperative to use technology just as an integrator to help these five generations co-exist with a human angle integrated into it for bringing out the best workplace eco-system ever.