The Generation Game: How to Foster Collaboration
There is a new generation in the workplace – Generation Z. These employees have grown up with devices like iPads being commonplace in their schools and they expect everything to be just a click away. From ordering Ubers to accessing any film on Netflix, this generation has an always on attitude. But how can businesses reflect this in the workplace to cater for their needs?
Enabling collaboration across different generations of workers is a challenge nearly every business will face, and it’s not only the current workforce entrants they need to cater for. From Baby Boomers to Millennials and Gen Xers, the requirements they need in the workplace and the way they interact with technology can be vastly different.
Deep collaboration takes time, effort and great leadership to foster within an organisation. So it’s no surprise that trying to address generational collaboration clashes can leave team leads pulling their hair out trying to bring everyone together.
Millennial workers, for example, are known to thrive in an environment that allows them to freely exchange ideas with one another, whether that be face-to-face or over digital or mobile platforms. There is also a demand for technology in the workplace to be fast and simple, just as it is at home.
The need for flexible working
Coupled with this, new flexible styles of working such as BYOD and remote working are now very popular amongst workers of all generations. Millennials are increasingly looking to improve their wellbeing and with this comes the request for flexible working hours and increased ability to work from home. Additionally, Generation X need to balance their working lives with their family, so businesses need to have the right processes in place to support this.
Businesses need to have a thorough understanding of how the different generations within each team works. Once this has been established, implementing the right technology will play a key role in supporting an organisational approach to improving collaboration.
Having multiple unified communications (UC) applications in the cloud will ensure a flowing workforce. The cloud has transformed the way businesses operate, allowing flexible working hours and improving collaboration between employees. It has boosted productivity and communication, giving employees the opportunity to participate more, organise their teams and delegate tasks to individuals in a more efficient manner.
Advancing collaboration through with the cloud
With cloud, the tools teams have been using have been able to evolve at a rapid rate to further cater for the needs of the modern day employee. Video conferencing software, for example, no longer just involves audio and visual communication with another employee or client. Teams can now share screens, annotate and use a virtual whiteboard all from within the same software. Improved collaboration isn’t just using one product, however. When you combine this with document management systems and productivity apps, collaboration can continue long after a call, and this is crucial in catering for employees who work remotely.
In addition, offering tools such as instant messaging applications can ensure immediate delivery and high interactivity, enhancing efficiency and communication within the organisation.
Having a good understanding of each employee’s need can help businesses to consider the best collaboration tools to increase interaction amongst each generation in the workplace, which ultimately increases collaboration and productivity. If businesses can’t cater to the way they work and collaborate, it is likely employees will try to find technology tools themselves as a workaround – and this presents the risk of leaving organisations even more collaboratively disjointed.
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