8 апр. 2024 г.

How remote support can help a multi-generational workforce

Our Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Turner, examines how remote technology is bridging generational gaps in the modern workforce.

  • Connect and support people
  • There are now five different generations of employees in the workforce. These stretch from the so-called Silent Generation, born between 1928 and 1945, to Generation Z (roughly, 1997-2012). All these groups have significantly different wants and needs. They also have very different approaches to work.  
    By and large, younger people entering the world of work seek flexibility, reward, mentorship, and meaning from their jobs. They often demonstrate less job loyalty and are more likely to quit if a role does not give them what they need.  
    By contrast, older generations — who’ve worked longer due to the rising pension age and the cost of living — are typically looking for financial stability and respect. They want to continue to be useful and pass their knowledge on.  
    Meeting the needs of such diverse workers is a huge challenge for organizations worldwide. The question is: How do we make work effective for today’s cross-generational workforce?

    Achieving cross-generational collaboration through tech

    One way of addressing this problem is by encouraging cross-generational collaboration. After all, this is something that brings significant benefits; including, according to the OECD, boosted productivity, broader skills and perspectives, improved retention of expertise, as well as stronger and more versatile teams. 
    Crucially, young workers are also looking for career growth and mentorship, something older generations are well placed to provide. In this, secure remote connectivity and/or augmented reality (AR) can be a game-changer. When used purposefully, these technologies can help staff across organizations to communicate, and learn from each other anytime, anywhere.  

    Futureproofing businesses and their workforces

    Remote support not only supports the diverse needs and wants of a cross-generational workforce. In the long term, it also helps to address the problem of an aging workforce and skills shortage.  
    The skills shortage is a huge problem for companies worldwide. According to the World Economic Forum, six out of 10 workers will need to be reskilled or upskilled before 2027. A staggering 70 % of businesses claim to be facing a critical skills gap, with almost 40% thinking this problem is only getting worse. This means that it must be a priority for companies now and in the years to come. 
    One way of tackling the skills gap is by investing in remote technology and support. This can enable experts and specialists to train and explain processes at the touch of a button. And, thanks to screen sharing and remote connectivity, this technology is growing easier all the time. 
    Interactive technologies like smart glasses with tailored AR software also offer huge potential. Eliminating the need for in-person support saves time and money, as parties don’t have to travel to train or collaborate. In turn, workers, regardless of their experience, are upskilled faster. This helps mitigate skills gaps before they become critical.  
    Additionally, training has also been shown to improve employee retention in businesses. Amongst younger generations, in particular, its availability is a key factor in whether they will stay at a company. In this way, it also staves off so-called ‘quiet quitting’ — something that is costing the global economy $8.8 trillion dollars annually, according to Gallup.  

    How one major distributor upskilled its employee base with smart glasses

    Let's take an example. As we all know, the recent pandemic brought many challenges across all sectors. For one major distributor of consumer goods, it caused significant employee losses in its warehouses. Following this the need for new staff to meet seasonal demand spiked as did the need for training in warehouse operations. This disrupted the regular workflow for existing employees. 
    Because of high worker turnover rates, traditional approaches like temporary staffing agencies were of little use. To address these issues, the company sought an innovative solution. Voice-directed technologies emerged as the answer. 
    In the past, training a new warehouse employee at the distributor looked very different. Usually, an experienced worker had to spend almost three days coaching them. Given the company's already lean workforce, this was challenging.  
    However, the adoption of advanced technologies transformed this training process. Now, new recruits receive smart glasses. This enables them to get step-by-step guidance from experienced team members along with digitized workflows. They can work unsupervised within 30 minutes. 
    At the same time, the integrated remote assistance function allows them to seek immediate supervisor support when necessary. This helps them to feel supported at all times.  
    Such a streamlined approach has been empowering for the entire workforce. Even with increased demand, they can adapt quickly and develop the necessary skills. This helps the company to take a proactive stance with respect to employee retention and skills gaps. 
    The above case is a great example of how well-implemented technology can benefit all employees. It can promote knowledge sharing and continuous learning. And crucially, this applies to employees both at the beginning and nearing the end of their careers.  

    Meeting the needs of employees and businesses 

    The multi-generational workforce is here to stay. For that reason, it’s essential that companies invest in technology that caters to the needs of all employees, regardless of age. Collaboration is key. To support this, remote support and AR-enabled solutions can provide a competitive edge.   
    Introducing remote solutions is vital for the immediate health of the employee base. However, it is also crucial for the future wellbeing of businesses. Skills must be passed from one generation to the next and not lost as older workers retire. Remote technology offers an innovative and effective way of supporting this.

    Peter Turner

    Member of the Executive Board and CCO at TeamViewer

    Peter is Chief Commercial Officer of TeamViewer since July 2022 and in his position responsible for Marketing, Pricing and Packaging as well as E-Commerce. A proven executive with more than 30 years of experience in transforming consumer businesses through insight driven strategies and strong leadership skills, Peter Turner was most recently Chief Commercial Officer at Avast. At the cybersecurity software company, he was responsible for more than $900 million revenue across all market segments, leading teams successfully driving billings growth and customer centricity. Prior to joining Avast, British national Peter Turner was Managing Director, Consumer Services and member of the UK leadership team at information services and data analytics provider Experian. Apart from that, he has held Consumer and Marketing positions at Tiscali, Sainsbury’s Bank and Orange among others.