5 Ways to Help Your Aging Workforce Embrace Digital Transformation – Entrepreneur

1. Create easy but impactful training programs.

This is an obvious one, but it needs to be mentioned because it’s also one of the most effective ways to get older employees on the digital transformation train. Employees in their 20s grew up in the digital age and are accustomed to using things like Google and Facebook profiles, Slack, Hangout and various SaaS tools. Employees in their 30s are probably in the same group, although there may be a few who need some training.

Most likely training should be especially targeted to employees in their 40s, 50s and 60s, who may have had some exposure to today’s collaboration platforms but need more time to feel comfortable enough to use them on a day-to-day basis and be fluent with them.

Related: Baby Boomers, Who Are More Successful as Entrepreneurs, Are Great Startup Assets

Apart from flexible online classes, a great way to set up such training is through partnerships and mentorships. Match a millennial with a baby boomer and have the millennials walk the boomers through the learning process. This will not only make the training affordable but help to break down the inter-generational silos that tend to form in today’s offices.

A key aspect of this training is to impress on older employees the importance of the shift to digital, the gaps it will fill and the nature of their own role at the forefront of this shift. Likewise, you should communicate why the older tools, methods, and ways of thinking are no longer viable.

2. Link digital transformation to career growth.

One of the other best ways to encourage your older employees to jump onto the digital bandwagon is to link digital transformation to their career growth and career goals.

An example: Say you have a boomer who’s a business development representative (BDR) looking to become head of sales. Impress on him or her the importance of communication platforms that encourage transparency and break down workplace silos. These platforms thus facilitate the free and symbiotic flow of insights and data among departments, which will help boost sales.

If your boomer is a product manager looking to eventually become chief marketing officer (CMO), make sure this person understands how digital possibilities, like going paperless, drive innovation and make products easier to market.

3. Encourage company engagement through collaboration.

Unify offline and online communications by keeping employees connected through their mobile devices, to provide “anywhere, anytime” access to tools and corporate information.

This not only helps to break down inter-generational silos and meld employees of different ages; it keeps employees engaged with their companies and with their career paths within their companies, which in turn promotes employee retention and satisfaction.

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