The younger generation is always cutting edge, right? Not necessarily. In fact, your Gen Z employees are a lot less tech savvy than you might think. The result ends up what is being called “tech shame.”
Tech Shame is the feeling of embarrassment, inadequacy, and being judged for a lack of knowledge when encountering technical issues.
It can also refer to the social pressure or expectation to be up to date and proficient with technology. That feeling is prominent among Gen Z workers, and some Millennials as well.
A recent study by HP shows that 20% of employees aged 18 to 29 reported feeling tech shame, compared to just 4% of employees aged 40 or over. It also shows that younger workers are 10 times more likely to feel shame in these scenarios compared to their older peers. Those feelings can affect morale, team building, and a digital distraction preventing their best performance.
This disparity may be due to the assumption that younger workers are inherently more tech savvy than their older counterparts. However, this line of thinking may not always be true. Younger workers have grown up with technology all around them, and they may be well versed in how that tech integrates into modern culture; such as social media and gaming systems. But that doesn’t mean they have tech skills that adapt to the workplace.
So how do you combat tech shame?
The solution to Tech Shame might simply be in providing better training opportunities – for the whole team. This isn’t to single out the younger workers, but rather to build your team together to close skill gaps have them all gain confidence.
Also factor in your tech tools for remote teams. Are you providing all devices for all employees? Do you have a BYOD policy in place? Younger employees may not have the financial means to purchase home equipment and may be hesitant to speak up if they are struggling. Make sure all of your employees have access to the equipment and resources to effectively do their jobs.
On top of providing the technology requirements, there is a need to provide a supportive work environment. This means actively seeking out and addressing any issues or concerns they have, whether tech related or not. Regularly check in with employees, especially if they are remote, and make an effort to address any hurdles in the way of their engagement and productivity. Want more? We’ve got plenty of tips on managing remote workers for you.
Creating a positive work culture and providing the necessary support can go a long way in boosting confidence in younger employees. If you’re concerned about tech shame or need help with training, improving efficiency, or sourcing equipment, reach out for assistance. We’d be happy to help you invest in the development of your team and foster a productive work environment.