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Running head: TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATIONAL COHORTS

Technology and Generational Cohorts:


IDS 803 Research Paper
Amy Gade
Fort Hays State University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for


IDS 803: Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society
Professor Jerald Spotswood

TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATIONAL COHORTS

Abstract
Through the required reading of Simon Heads (2014) text MINDLESS: Why Smarter Machines
are Making Dumber Humans for IDS 803 Origins and Implications of the Knowledge Society at
Fort Hays State University, the author of this paper sparked an interest in looking at technology
from a generational cohorts perspective. Head (2014) discusses the link between information
technology and a growing structured inequality in the United States, one such cause identified is
that of the rate of change caused by technology. While new technology can be challenging for
any employee, it is likely of even more challenge to certain groups of employees, specifically
those within varying generational or birth cohorts. The author of this paper focuses on extant
literature regarding identifiable characteristics of the three birth cohorts currently in the U.S.
workforce, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials. More specifically, the author
examines how each cohort responds to technology in the workplace based on the known
characteristics of their cohort. The author also aims to provide leaders of these now multigenerational work teams with tips on how to meet the preferences, expectations, and needs of
each cohort as it relates to new technologies in the workplace.

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Introduction
Through the required reading of Simon Heads (2014) text MINDLESS: Why Smarter
Machines are Making Dumber Humans for IDS 803 Origins and Implications of the Knowledge
Society at Fort Hays State University, the author of this paper sparked an interest in looking at
technology from a generational cohorts perspective. In the reading of Heads (2014) text, the
link between information technology and a growing structured inequality in the United States
was discussed. Some of the inequalities mentioned related to things such as the expense of such
technologies, the language used in the creation and implementation of these technologies, their
tendency to cause the removal of human elements, and even the over-monitoring these
technologies can lead to. Another of the possible causes of this growing inequality, discussed by
Head (2014), is the rate of change caused by technology. New technologies create new software
that, in turn, can influence new processes. Likewise, technology requires frequent updates and
upgrades meant to improve features and functionalities. While new technology can be
challenging for any employee due to the fast-paced nature of the changes initiated, it might be of
even more challenge to certain groups of employees, specifically those within varying
generational cohorts.
Because the workforce in the U.S. is currently comprised of workers from primarily three
different generational or birth cohorts, Baby Boomers, Generation Xers, and Millennials, the
author of this paper focuses on extant literature regarding the identifiable characteristics of each
cohort. More specifically, the author examines how each cohort responds to technology in the
workplace based on the known characteristics of their cohort. The author also aims to provide
leaders of these now multi-generational work teams with tips on how to meet the preferences,
expectations, and needs of each cohort as it relates to technology in the workplace.

TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATIONAL COHORTS

Generational or Birth Cohorts


Davis, Pawlowski, & Houston (2006) claim that the concept of a generation has long
been part of common dialog; however, movement of the term from popular vocabulary to
analytical usage in scientific research is a more recent phenomenon (p. 43). While generation
has multiple meanings in academic research, the most common usage is generation as a birth
cohort. Elias, Smith, and Barney (2012) quote Howe and Strauss (2000) as saying, In todays
data-rich infosphere, peoples attitudes (toward family, career, risk, romance, politics, and
religion), together with their behavioral tendencies (in job choice, test scores, health, risk, sex,
and drugs), can be tracked by birth cohort (p. 453). Davis et al. (2006) further defined these
cohorts as, an identifiable group of people who share birth years and experiences as they move
through time together, influencing and being influenced by a variety of critical factors (p. 53).
These generational cohorts differ not just in age, but also in their peer-to-peer
socialization and formal education, and possibly most influential of all, by the historical events
they have experienced (Obal & Kunz, 2013). Because of the shared experience of what are often
many profound historical events, a generation becomes more than just a statistical artifact, but
instead a sociological reality (Davis et al., 2006). Likewise, members of the same cohort
typically experience many of the same more moment defining events during their key coming
of age years (Obal & Kunz, 2013).
Based on the influences of education, socialization, time, events, and experiences that
members of the same cohort share, many believe that their values, preferences, attitudes, and
behaviors align (Davis et al., 2006; Obal & Kunz, 2013). While there are often some date
inconsistencies in how cohorts are identified, overwhelmingly, their values and behaviors are
identifiably the same and will remain relatively unchanged over their entire lifetime (Obal &

TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATIONAL COHORTS

Kunz, 2013, p. 48.) Another important note is that while cohorts may share many of the same
core values, there are enough differences that keep them separated into their own identifiable
groups (Jamieson, 2008).
Because cohorts tell us many things about an individual group of people, they are often
used when studying the attitudes and behaviors of groups of people within the workplace.
Common themes noted in the study of employees include generational differences in attitudes
toward work, loyalty to employers, and even commitment to a respective job field (Davis et al.,
2006). Seipert and Baghurst (2014) admit, Keeping generational cohorts happy in the workplace
is a task unique to each cohort (p. 348). Just as each individual person is unique, each cohort of
individuals is equally unique in their work preferences. No matter how large or small, ignoring
the dissimilarities in the cohorts is a mistake organizational leaders cannot afford to make
(Seipert & Baghurst, 2014).
Todays workforce includes employees primarily of three different generational cohorts,
Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial. Ferri-Reed (2014) says it is this diversity in the
generational make-up of the workforce that hands modern leaders the challenge of managing
multi-generational teams. Recognizing and understanding the differences in individuals from
varying birth cohorts is likely a managers first step in effectively leading these new work teams
through teamwork, communication, meetings, learning, and change.
Baby Boomers
Beginning in the late 1940s, the birthrate for Americans truly exploded, causing what is
often called a baby boom. According to Boseman and Smith (1992), With the return of soldiers
from World War II, the growing confidence in the U.S. economy, and a general feeling of
prosperity across the nation, babies were born at record-setting rates (p. 62). At the same time,

TECHNOLOGY AND GENERATIONAL COHORTS

infant mortality rates improved, meaning more infants survived their first year than ever before.
This explosive increase in the number of young born roughly between 1946 and 1964 caused this
generation to be called the Baby Boomers (Obal & Kunz, 2013).
Consequently, Baby Boomers represent the largest generation in the U.S. (Davis et al.,
2006). With roughly 80 million Boomers in the U.S., persons in this birth cohort represent onethird of the population in the entire country (Boseman & Smith, 1992). Often being born to
World War II veterans, Baby Boomers most likely experienced a traditional home in the likes of
a working father and at home mother, some of the last to overwhelmingly experience such
(Davis et al., 2006). Baby Boomers experienced their coming-of-age years during some of the
countrys most impactful historical events and times of dramatic change, such as the Vietnam
War, the Civil Rights movement, the Kennedy and King assassinations, and Watergate, to name a
few (Obal & Kunz, 2013; Davis et al., 2006). While times were challenging during their youth,
Boomers also were raised in a time of unprecedented economic growth and success (Davis et al.,
2006). These things play impact into who the Baby Boomers are as a birth cohort, making them
quite idealistic with a desire to make the world a better place (Walker, 2007).
As the Baby Boomers moved into their adult life, life expectancy in the U.S. almost
doubled (Boseman & Smith, 1992). This afforded Boomers the opportunity to take the job
market by storm, at many consecutive decades as the largest population of the workforce. Baby
Boomers truly value work and have even been called workaholics (Gibson, Jones, Cella, Clark,
Epstein, & Haselberger, 2010). Seipert and Baghurst (2014) said of Baby Boomers, They do
not enjoy the prospect of a job hunt, desire long-term employment, and will give up family and
free time in order to ensure stable and lasting work, a true sign of one of their most noted
qualities, loyalty (p. 353). They do not, however, expect these things to come easily. Because

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Boomers were raised in a truly competitive environment, they have been expected to work hard
to climb the ladder of success in their careers (Ferri-Reed, 2014). Job and financial security has
long been the desire of Baby Boomers; therefore, many have worked jobs they do no enjoy, for
leaders they do not respect, in companies where their personal values do not align (Walker,
2007).
Due to their significant numbers, Baby Boomers have dramatically affected the country
in almost all aspects of life. Boseman and Smith (1992) quoted Cutler in saying, the baby boom
is so atypically large that it has demographically smashed into ever social, economic and cultural
institution through which it ages, from hospital delivery rooms to elementary schools, from
juvenile delinquency to popular music, from colleges to protest politics, from job markets to
housing markets (Boseman & Smith, 1992, p. 62). This generation will continue to be impactful
in the coming years as they reach retirement age at alarming rates, the job market and social
services such as social security, Medicare, and retirement communities will now receive their
turn to be at mercy of this large cohort.
Generation X
Generation X are those individuals born from roughly 1965 to 1980 (Walker, 2007). Born
to workaholic older Baby Boomers, this generation has been referred to as latchkey kids
because they often returned from school to an empty home because their parents were more
prone to divorce or dual careers (Davis et al., 2006). Gen-Xers are described as growing up with
financial, family, and societal insecurity, rapid change, great diversity and a lack of solid
traditions (Davis et al., 2006, p. 44). Naturally, these experiences have greatly influenced who
Generation Xers are, as well as their attitudes, preferences, and behaviors in work and in their
personal lives.

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Xers tend to be more practical than other generations, feeling no sense of obligation to
improve the world around them (Walker, 2007). Davis et al. (2006) says about this cohort,
Seeing their parents fall victim to downsizing and restructuring, they are described as cynical
and untrusting (p. 44). Because of this, Gen-Xers are thought to avoid emotional attachment,
too much involvement or identification with a single profession, which affords them no
obligation to stay within a respective field (Tang, Cunningham, Frauman, Ivy & Perry, 2012). In
the workplace, other attitudes attributed to this generation include, the belief that there is no
such thing as job security; that job security comes from marketability and the transferability of
ones skills to other jobs (Davis et al., 2006, p. 44). Once a Gen-Xer believes they have gained
all they can from a position, they are likely to move on to a more favorable position.
Employees of Generation X are unwilling to sacrifice their personal lives for the sake of a
career (Tang et al., 2012). Unlike their Baby Boomer parents, they see a life outside of work.
Davis et al. (2006) said Xers have, an expectation of balance between work and leisure time;
and the expectation that work should be fun (p.44). Generation Xers are thought to be quite
motivated, however, being cited as desiring challenging work where they and their work can be
immediately impactful (Seipert & Baghurst, 2014). When they find both, those within
Generation X are thought to be not only happier, but also more effective in the workplace.
Millennials
Millennials, otherwise known as Generation Y, are those born between roughly 19812000 (Walker, 2007). Born to what have been called helicopter-style parents, this generation
has always been played up by their parents, often being rewarded with monetary or material
items for even the simplest of accomplishments (Ferri-Reed, 2013; Walker, 2007). They have
also been privy to extensive praise from both teachers and parents, which in turn creates a need

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for constant feedback or continued praise amongst members of this generation (Ferri-Reed,
2013). Walker (2007) says of this cohort, Generation Y are self-confident, outspoken,
passionate, opinionated, loyal and impatient. They are easily bored and happily move on to other
things and interests (p. 148).
Millennials are our newest members of the workforce. Because of their abundance of
self-confidence at work, some have called them the toughest generation to work with (Snow,
2011). Because of this confidence, Generation Yers know they have value and are sought after, so
they are not afraid to pursue their many options (Walker, 2007). Complaints about working with
Millennials range from their inability to accept anything but soft criticism, their sense of
entitlement, and too much need for direction (Snow, 2011). Over-involvement on behalf of the
parents of Millennials has also been known to carry into the workplace; but this close tie with
their parents is what helps this generation relate well with those of older generations (Snow,
2011).
This generation may come with some baggage, but not without benefit. Generation Y is
known for being extremely ambitious (Walker, 2007; Ferri-Reed, 2013). Snow (2011) says, And
because they are characteristically well-traveled and have been provided many opportunities,
they are willing to question the status quo and provide valuable ideas and perspectives (p. 10).
Because their whole life they have been taught to be themselves and not let anyone else push
them around, a dictatorial approach in the workplace is one they will not stand for (Walker,
2007, p. 150). Instead, Millennials are known for a more collaborative style of communication
and interest in teamwork, likely reflective of their innate desire for feedback from all parties
involved (Ferri-Reed, 2013). Because they expect to be included, they also include. Walker

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(2007) notes, Gen Y feel secure in an open, honest environment and they form close bonds with
people who are loyal to them, and who they feel they can trust (p. 150).
While Generation Y employees are sure to play a large role in the workplace now and in
the future, but like their predecessors from Generation X, they are characterized with an
expectation of work and life co-existing (Walker, 2007). Because they were raised in a win-win
culture, work-life balance is something they truly believe can exist (Snow, 2011). Millennials are
also known for their commitment to service, which they may incorporate into their work life or
give their personal time to (Snow, 2011). Millennials have always been attuned to the big picture,
striving to make the world a better place (Ferri-Reed, 2013). Snow (2011) says, Our current
young professional colleagues are energy-conscious and compassionate about the environment
(p. 10). With Millennials, there may be compromise with some aspects of their known
characteristics, but for healthy reward in others.
Cohorts and Technology
While it is understood that effectively managing multi-generational teams likely first
involves recognizing their differences, it is also important to recognize that, like any manager, a
manager of multiple generations will need to facilitate teamwork, communication, meetings,
learning, and change amongst the varying birth cohorts. Seemingly, one of the biggest areas of
change in the modern workplace is that of technology change. New software programs and
technology products, along with continuous updates and upgrades to existing technology, keep
todays workforce on their toes. While new technology can be challenging for any employee to
deal with, it is often thought to be more of a challenge to certain groups of employees,
specifically those certain generational cohorts.

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While it is said that people over the age of 65 stop adopting new technology, our latest
generation to hit this age, the Baby Boomers, are said to be different than generations preceding
them (Technology and the Baby Boomers, 2010). Baby Boomers have seen more technological
advances in the course of their lifetime than any previous generation (Kumar and Lim, 2008).
However, bearing witness to the growth of technology does not automatically mean Boomers
used it. Cardale and Brady (2010) said, Early hardware and software lacked the easy
accessibility we see in todays personal computers; this meant that only a select few used
computer technologies every day and computers were primarily associated with the workplace
and not something one would have in the home (p. 16).
It has to be remembered that the Baby Boomers were not exposed to computer
technology in their formal education (Elias et al., 2012). Boomers are considered digital
immigrants, in the sense that they first learned to use technology in their adult lives (Obal &
Kunz, 2013). Their desire to separate their work and home lives lead to some general
cautiousness to welcome technology into their personal lives. At a certain point, however, there
was no escaping technology and Boomers were coerced into using it first at work and then at
home. It began with use of email and the Internet to communicate and conduct business (Fenich,
Scott-Halsell, & Hashimoto, 2011). Willis (2006) said of older Boomers preparing for retirement,
The majority have Internet access, have used computers and the Internet in their work lives, and
report that they would miss the Internet if they could no longer use it (p. 44) In fact, Boomers
match the overall population of Internet users in their use of the Internet for checking email,
searching for news, politics, and weather, and conducting research on various work or general
life topics (Willis, 2006).

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Because they were somewhat slow to welcome technology into their daily lives, Boomers
are equally as slow to embrace new and unfamiliar technology (Seipert and Baghurst, 2014).
Fenich et al. (2011) said of this generation, they are less adept at cell phone texting, SKYPE, or
AIM, which is part of the new social networking (p. 55). Baby Boomers still believe in faceto-face communication and when it can be had, they question if there is sufficient reason to use
available technology for these interactions (Cardale & Brady, 2010). They see technology as
responsible for depersonalization in our lives (Wesner & Miller, 2008). Boomers are also
somewhat skeptical of technology. Obal and Kunz (2013) state that they are far less likely to
share information online than other cohorts are, as they are seemingly more concerned with the
security and privacy of their information.
Baby Boomers do often express willingness to learn and adapt their processes to new
technology (Seipert and Baghurst, 2014). However, they will not change their lives to fit said
technology, unlike they believe younger generations have (Technology and the Baby Boomers,
2010). Because they are the oldest generation in the workforce, their adoption of new
technologies is often a response to social pressure from colleagues and even managers of
younger generations (Elias et al, 2012). It is important for managers working with Boomers to
remember, as they age new job skills tend to decrease. Being required to learn new software
could lead to decreased performance and motivation among this group (Elias et al., 2012).
Should they feel negatively about new technology or their use of it, their overall job satisfaction
is subject to compromise.
Generation Xers, on the other hand, are known to be quite technologically savvy, as this
generation grew up during the beginning of the technology era in the United States. Access to
technology likely began in elementary school for this generation, with limited and monitored

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access to computers and educational games. Video game consoles and full color games came
shortly thereafter. Meier and Crocker (2010) noted that home computers with Internet access
were quick to follow. When Gen Xers hit the workforce, access to technology was not even a
question; it was an expectation of this generation.
Because they are using technology their daily lives both at work and at home, Generation
X is more likely to embrace new technology and sooner than Boomers (Seipert and Baghurst,
2014). Xers were the early adopters of all the most recent technological advances, such as social
networking, smart phones, text messaging, and digital cameras (Ferri-Reed, 2014). Seipert and
Baghurst (2014) said, Generation Xers expressed eagerness to not merely adapt to new
technology, but also to adopt it (p. 361). Utilizing new technologies in the workplace is just one
way Xers can be challenged while gaining new skills that will be used to attain new and more
favorable positions.
Millennials are of an even different breed of employee, in that, for this cohort there
appears to be a need to be plugged in almost 24/7 (Jamieson, 2008, p. 28). As technologies
have improved over time, this innate need to be connected is likely due to greater access to
technology. Home computers, laptops, tablets and now mobile phones with the capabilities of a
computer have all given way to access at the fingertips of this generation. New uses for
technology, such as social media, has also increased this generations interest in staying
connected. Crappell (2012) said of Millennials, Seventy-five percent report having a social
networking profile and more than 80 percent keep their cellular phones nearby while sleeping
(p. 12).
To give Millennials some credit, this level of connectivity was forced upon them. Fenich
et al. (2011) said of Generation Y, They are the first generation to have been surrounded by

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technological households of computers and digital media their entire lives (p. 54). Obal and
Kunz (2013) have titled this generation digital natives, as they have always interacted with
internet technology, which makes them empirically more comfortable using and learning from
this medium [than other generations] (p. 46.) In fact, Millennials have no real memory of a life
before computers, cell phones, or the Internet (Fenich et al., 2011). Subsequently, information
technology has a profound impact on how Generation Y lives and works (Bolton, Parasuraman,
Hoefnagels, Migchels, Kabadayi, Gruber, Loureiro, & Solnet, 2013).
Obal and Kunz (2013) said, Millennials experienced their coming-of-age period in a
very fast-paced environment with rapid technological advancements at the forefront of society
(55). Because of this, they are more interested in and better able to keep up with technological
advances than other generations. In fact, Gen Yers often know more about the digital world,
including technology, software, and social media platforms, than their parents, teachers, and even
employers (Meier & Crocker, 2010).
While they are often criticized for their almost constant use of technology, Crappell
(2012) credits Millennials with the qualities necessary to regularly maintain a level of
unequalled connectivity (p. 12). While they rely heavily on technology to provide them
entertainment, they also turn to fulfill their needs for personal interaction and emotional
regulation (Bolton et al., 2013). Because of their need for constant feedback, instant
communication technologies and social media platforms assist them in finding the reassurance
they may need.
Millennials only see benefits behind the use of technology in their work and personal
lives. Beyond communication, technology provides Gen Y with the ability to gain instant access
to a wealth of knowledge and expertise, allowing them to take on projects that may be beyond

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their realm. Because service is something this cohort is known for, technology provides them the
social platform needed to stay connected to the issues close to their heart. Lastly, if technology is
thought to be the replacement for long hours Baby Boomers were accustomed to spending at
work, Millennials will embrace it with unprecedented success (Snow, 2011). Because a
harmonious work-life balance is the expectation of Generation Y, technology affords them the
opportunity to stay connected to work from anywhere their personal life may take them.
Tips for Meeting Technology Needs of Multi-Generational Teams
While it is important that leaders of multi-generational work teams first recognize the
dissimilarities in employees from varying birth cohorts, it is equally important to understand that
each cohort addresses work situations differently including technological changes in the
workplace. By acknowledging these differences, leaders are better able to adapt work processes
and policies regarding technology to meet the preferences, expectations, and needs of their
employees. In return, employees are able to more clearly understand, appreciate, and utilize these
new technologies.
Because Baby Boomers did not grow up immersed in technology, they are typically more
hesitant in its use and with the introduction of new, updated, or upgraded technologies. It is
important to recognize that while Boomers may not be as comfortable with new technology, they
are not inept in using it. In fact, Seipert and Baghurst (2014) claim, Baby Boomers expressed
willingness to adapt to new technology (p. 361). Because they often struggle to see the
rationale behind the use of technology in some situations, it is crucial they are shown its value
(Cekada, 2012). If they see purpose, Boomers are more likely to buy in to these technologies.
It is also important to take it slow when introducing new technologies to Baby Boomers.
Willis (2006) said, Research on the most effective training methods supports the importance of

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hierarchically organizing the information to be learned, proceeding in training from simple to


more complex concepts and skills (p. 46). Because Boomers rely on their experience as a
source of learning, it can be beneficial to allow them access to utilize the technology as they are
being introduced to it and trained through its varying processes (Cekada, 2012). Lastly, Gibson et
al. (2010) had a great piece of advice when working with Baby Boomers and technology when
they suggested offering mentoring. They said, Another application of mentoring is an upward
mentoring system where Baby Boomer mentees could profit from coaching in new technology
applications from their Gen X and Gen Y counterparts (Gibson et al., 2010 p. 57).
Generation X poses fewer challenges when introducing new technologies in the
workplace. As a cohort who were raised during the initial technology era in the U.S., they are
much more familiar with technology and more much comfortable using it both at work and at
home. Many Gen Xers, however, are still able to separate their lives from technology. As Cekada
(2012) stated, The older Gen X goes online to accomplish a task and then walks away from the
computer (41). Helping Xers see why and they will utilize the technology for is beneficial in
helping them to understand how it will play into their jobs.
Because Generation X spent a lot of time alone while their parents worked, they became
very independent and adaptable. Their preferred learning style has also been influenced by that.
Cekada (2012) said of Gen X, With their ability and desire to be connected to technology and
information, these individuals are independent learners. Set them in motion and they will find the
information they need to learn the rest (p. 43). Providing this generation with quality hardware
will give them the means necessary to continue exploring and learning new technology
independently (Ferri-Reed, 2014). It will also allow them to gain information in shorter snippets,

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which helps maintain their interest and address their learning style of listening, seeing, and doing
(Cekada, 2012).
Because Millennials are easily the most connected generation, they are typically the most
receptive to new technology in the workplace. In fact, those Millennials with an increased
interest in technology may often be aware of evolving technologies before they are even
introduced in the workplace (Ferri-Reed, 2013). In order to keep Millennials interest, it is
important to stay attuned to technology trends, providing access to new hardware and software
when possible. Likewise, when providing learning opportunities on new technologies,
Millennials engage best when viewing images, graphics, and video content (Cekada, 2012).
Social media and networking are a huge part of Millennials technology use, so providing
productive ways to use them at work can be beneficial. Ferri-Reed (2013) said, In recent years,
many of the more forward-thinking organizations have deployed business-oriented social
networking services to bring employees together to communicate, collaborate, solve problems,
and forge the workplace teams of the 21st century (p. 21).
Technology is a way to keep the newest generation of employees engaged and motivated,
but it is also important that Generation Yers understand the strategic reasons for technology use
in the workplace (Normala & Kumar, 2013). While technology may help save time in the way
work is completed, decisions are made, and things are communicated, Millennials need to be
reminded that it is not an end all. Some types of business are best done face-to-face and Gen Y
employees may need help understanding that (Meier et al., 2010). Technology has helped
Millennials attain the work-life balance they demand, so when used properly, access to work
technology away from the office may help make this generation the most productive yet
(Cekada, 2012).

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While Generation Y is easily the most responsive to new technologies in the workplace,
their lifelong access to technology can provide challenges in its own regard. Because Millennials
are more advanced in their technology skills than other generations, Gibson et al. (2010) said
they often assume older workers are less flexible with change and lack technological skills or
willingness to acquire those skills (p. 55). To other cohorts, Millennials can appear arrogant or
bias especially as it relates to others use of technology (Ferri-Reed, 2013). Because of their
frequent use of technology, like instant messaging, social media, and texting, for communication,
some businesses have found the need to incorporate basic writing skills into training for use of
these technologies for work purposes (Wesner & Miller, 2008). Gen Y is also plagued by their
ability to use information and communication technologies without a second thought about the
implications of these activities (Yerbury, 2010, p. 26). Many managers feel that including
workplace technology etiquette training and guidelines is becoming increasingly necessary as
more Millennials enter the workplace.
Conclusion
The U.S. workforce is unique in that it is now comprised of members of three very
different generational or birth cohorts. The Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials all
have qualities and characteristics that are identifiable to their own cohort, but outwardly different
from one another. As workplace leaders have the unique task of managing these multigenerational teams, understanding the dissimilarities between employees of varying cohorts can
be very helpful. As managers help effectively lead their multi-generational work teams through
teamwork, communication, meetings, learning, and change, those that recognize that each cohort
addresses work situations differently are likely to be more successful.

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Because technological advances, updates, and upgrades are one of the largest aspects of
the modern world, understanding how cohorts approach technology will help multi-generation
team leaders adapt work processes and policies to meet the preferences, expectations, and needs
of their employees. In return, employees are able to more clearly understand, appreciate, and
utilize these new technologies to the benefit of their company or organization.

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Works Cited
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Loureiro, Y. K., & Solnet, D. (2013). Understanding generation Y and their use of social
media: A review and research agenda. Journal of Service Management, 24(3), 245-267.
doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09564231311326987
Boseman, G., & Smith, Leonard, S. Jr. (1992). Baby Boomers' Expectations. Journal of the
American Society of CLU & ChFC, 46(4), 62. Retrieved from
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Cardale, A., & Brady, E. M. (2010). To Talk or to TextIs That the Question? The LLI Review,
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