New study urges industry to address generational division in tech skills

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New research from the software research site Capterra has found that the pace of technological evolution is leading to generational division in Australian workplaces. 

According to the study that surveyed over 1,000 Australian employees, the majority of workers in the country (85 per cent) believe that job skills are becoming more reliant on the use of digital tools. Meanwhile, 83 per cent of employees believe that their company should provide greater support as new technology is introduced. 

Since 2020, digital adoption accelerated with digital transformation witnessed in operations, customer interactions, cybersecurity and collaboration platforms. 

As artificial intelligence becomes increasingly common in industries, experts are urging companies to address the gaps to sustain organisation capability. 

“Technology is transforming organisations – faster and more diverse than ever. Communication, collaboration, financial savings, productivity and security are underpinning these shifts and forming the catalyst for change,” said Greg Weiss, an HR consultant, onboarding expert, and the founder of Career365. 

Capterra’s study identified the three primary challenges that hinder the speed of digital transformation. These include the usage gap among employees, limited access to resources or training, and the constant introduction of new tools making it difficult to adapt. 

The research also revealed that while millennials are naturally inclined to digital tools (87 per cent), baby boomers and Generation Z are equally drawn to new technology (85 per cent). 

“The appetite is definitely there. It’s a matter of how these employees are facilitated and bridging the digital generation gap is crucial. A cookie-cutter approach to training and support doesn’t work in a divergent workforce – as their alignment differs,” Weiss said. 

To maximise the adoption of digital tools, over 58 per cent of surveyed employees said they prefer on-site training, which demonstrates how a combination of digital and non-digital platforms can flourish in a hybrid working arrangement. 

According to Capterra, finding the right balance in digital tool adoption can create benefits including increased efficiency, reduced paperwork and savings on work hours. The study pointed to the significant potential of fostering this environment as all generations prefer to manage their tasks digitally, including 35 per cent of Generation X individuals, a slightly higher percentage compared to 31 per cent of millennials who expressed this preference. 

“For baby boomers, brainstorming (37 per cent), performance reviews (38 per cent) and team building sessions (37 per cent) are preferred in-person; while Generation Z also prefers in-person team building (39 per cent), training (34 per cent) and brainstorming (31 per cent). Digital performance reviews (28 per cent) are preferred by Generation Z,” Capterra said in a media release.