Baby Boomers and Technology… Raise your hand if you’re a baby boomer!
If you were born between 1946 and 1964, then the answer is yes, you are a baby boomer! Your generation is 77 million strong. We had never seen such a boom in the birth rate ‘till we got to the baby boom.
Let’s shine some light on the generational differences when it comes to baby boomers and technology, their relationship to technology, as well as the 2 things you can do to get them embrace technology.
Generations and Technology in the Workplace
It used to be all about the baby boomers. But, since the millennials have come on board, we seem to forget about the baby boomers. And that is a mistake.
When I ask Millennials what are they struggle with when they work with baby boomers, a common complaint or comment is – well, Baby Boomers and Technology! That baby boomers resist technology. In fact, one millennial recently told me that a baby boomer called him to tell him he sent an email and advised him to print that email.
Baby Boomers and Technology
Well, you know we give baby boomers a lot of grief about technology and it’s not really a hundred percent accurate. I would probably guess that most of the baby boomers watching this video use technology. So in reality, baby boomers and technology are not that far off.
In fact, I always point out to my audiences, especially if I have lots of Millennials, I tell them ‘You know, you might not know this little secret about baby boomers but baby boomers were the very first iPhone users!’ Yes, baby boomers had iPhones before anybody.
A Generational Difference When it Comes to Baby Boomers
Here it is:
Ask “How will this technology make my job or life easier?”
Don’t tell them you’re just getting new technology, because it has a better ringtone, but tell them how will this new technology make their job or life easier!
If you’re an early adapter and you’re introducing a new technology to your team, you may have people resisting. Ask yourself how are you going to answer that question above.
Here Are 2 Things You Can Do to Connect Baby Boomers and Technology:
1. Train Technology One-on-One
We often use technology to train technology and that’s great for people who are early adapters to technology. But when you have somebody who is a slow adapter, you have to train one-on-one. When you tell someone ‘Go watch a YouTube video to learn how to use this new technology.’, that’s a frustrating experience. Frustrating because that new technology never works the way it does in that YouTube video. Train them one-on-one!
2. Check Back in with Them No More than Ten Days Later
Why? Because the technology most often doesn’t work like it should. There’s a frustration or a hiccup and that person using the new technology think you know that it’s not making their job or life easier. It’s making their job or life harder.
They are going to go back to their old ways of doing things. So, check back in with that person no more than ten days later and help them through that adaptation process.
Baby Boomers Relationship to Technology
Once that person learns how the technology will make their job or life easier, I think you will see them more eagerly embrace the new technology. They may never sing from the mountaintops how much they love that technology, but your goal is that they embrace the technology and use it to make their job and life easier. And it also makes your organization or association more successful!
I look forward to seeing you next week when we further discuss the ever-changing generations and the fun challenges they bring to our lives every day.