The holidays are over and it’s time to begin planning for the new year. This is an exciting chance to start looking forward to all the new trends, technology, and opportunities that will be introduced within the next 12 months.
It seems that newer generations such as Millennials have it all, don’t they? – A myriad of opportunities in today’s job market, options for mobility and the freedom of choice that previous generations didn’t have, which is why it was surprising to find that there is one thing they’re lacking in our dynamic and technological world: digital skills.
TIME magazine reports that Millennials/Gen Y don’t have the digital prowess and technological savviness needed in today’s workforce. Billions of dollars are lost each year because of this. We see millennials as the crowd that’s been growing up with the internet around them. They can summon cabs, share selfies on Snapchat and share #foodporn on social media – but when it comes to working in the professional world, this tech knowledge isn’t what’s useful in the workplace. Chris Pope, senior director of strategy at technology services company ServiceNow, explains that millennials don’t have the chance to use email or spreadsheets extensively, even though they’ve grown accustomed to communicating through texting and social media.
Research has shown that the knowledge of these generations is not only limited to spreadsheets and emailing, but students also struggle with conducting a proper Google search. They have trouble evaluating sources on the web, assuming all content is correct, and are clueless as to how search results are organized and displayed. Because young workers may be oblivious to workplace tech, managers must spend an average of 15 hours a week following up on requests for technical support for admin tasks that were assigned to new, young workers. Meanwhile, young professionals breaking into the workforce are seeing that they have to regress and step back to learn to use less-efficient programs like Outlook and Excel, which is what most companies still rely on.
American companies spend a total of $575 billion a year on administrative overhead, ServiceNow has found.
So, what’s the solution to all this?
Companies should look into teaching digital skills relevant to their company when taking on new hires. Corporate companies like the Bank of England and Network Rail have built online courses with the help of OPE’s like Construct in order to host and create more accessible training material for millennials to adapt and put into practice in the workplace. What else do you think can help bring millennials up to speed with digital practices in the workplace?
Former Marketing and Business Development Manager