Table: Too Old to Learn?

Is teaching older workers to use new technology a productivity drain?

We put out the question on Twitter and our Blogspotting blog and from the dozens of responses we received, it's clear that technology is one of the flash points when it comes to generational tension in the workplace. Here's a sampling:

diabolicalpnthr (in 2 tweets) It kills productivity to have to explain social media and new technologies to the older generation in an office. It's hard to get an older.... coworker to try new things, so you end up a) explaining all the time or b) doing it for them.

nutmegalfredo BPA, where I worked, filtered e-access so harshly, it was impossible to get anything done! the higher-ups had no idea.

katefettighill not all companies exp. gen issues; Radio Flyer employs 60 ppl btw 23-63, no issues due to open-minds, respect & fun workplace!

astrout Millennials are forcing companies to leverage online communities to capture & x-fer the intelligence of boomers before they retire.

lorirusso Major differences even between the 30-somethings and the 20-somethings. Biggest issue is accountability.

pranikoff how about the fact that many upper management don't want to allow social media in the workplace.

AngelaWilson HUGE thing. Differences in technology knowledge. Hover parents with kids who expect the world given to them and managers who have to deal with said youthful royalty.

lorita Have worked in a co w/27 as the average age, then where 45 is, I think it's mindset—are creativity & collaboration encouraged?

Pandaran (in 2 tweets) Digg had great article on 20-somethings saying they'd quit their job if Facebook was blocked. A big difference is the value placed on social media tools. Younger see value, older see waste of time.

susank What about how it influences writing and language ie, use of LOL, BTW, and others in sentences? Tendency to forget how to write.

JCrites I could go on for days about the struggle to infuse new media strategies w/ Radio (battling old school execs: "blog schmog").

MelWebster use of e-mail versus social network sites and IM. "kids" coming into the workplace today don't use email

Tracey (from Blogspotting) Our office has 20-25 year old employees talking on the cell phone, IMing, and watching YouTube while performing mission-critical, detail-oriented tasks. They insist that they are good multitaskers, and these background tasks don't distract them, and I was hoping to find some facts, some scientific evidence one way or the other, but all I find are opinions.

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