Older Generations VS. Technology
Many of our country’s seniors are late adopters when it comes to technology. The Pew Research Center found that in 2012, more than half of older adults, ages 65 or older, were active internet users. Today, 59 percent of seniors report that they use the internet. Despite these gains, seniors continue to lag behind younger Americans when it comes to adopting technology. For example, Pew Research Center found that many seniors remain largely unattached from online and mobile life, with 41 percent not using the internet at all, and 23 percent not using cell phones. With many people working into their senior years, it is important that they learn to adapt to new technology.
How To Help:
The experts at Optimum Employer Solutions have gathered some tips you can use to encourage technology adoption across your organization:
- Keep It Simple – When devices or programs have too many features or complicated layouts, it can deter users. To help your less tech-savvy employees adapt more easily, limit use to a single piece of software or service. With fewer distractions, you will find a decrease in the learning curve and better productivity.
- Tailor Technology – When implementing new technology, keep your audience in mind. They may have physical limitations or aversions that could deter adoption. Consider simple modifications, like larger fonts, and offering tutorials or links to webinars that new users can refer to.
- Emphasize Privacy and Security – Many older adults have an aversion to technology because they feel it is intrusive or insecure. To counter this, make the technology in your workplace minimally intrusive. Consider removing constant reminders and avoiding lengthy emails. To show that the technology you use is safe, you could equate the safety features of your system with those used in trusted banks.
- Offer Continuous Training – Because younger generations, like Millennials, are considered “digital natives” who grew up with new technology and are comfortable trying out new software and systems, it is important to remember that older generations, like Boomers and Gen X, are more reluctant. Rather than leaving older employees to figure things out on their own, offer ongoing training and help. With younger generations, you might only have to show the employee how to use a particular program once. With older generations, they may need some extra help. Make sure they understand that it is acceptable and encouraged to ask for additional help if it is needed.