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A Diverse Workforce Demands Personalized Technology

A diverse workforce demands personalized technology — Diversity in the future will go beyond gender and ethnicity to include generational, age, sexual orientation, personality and even functional diversity.

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When it comes to technology, one size definitely does not fit all. The workforce is becoming more diverse, and organizations are coming to realize that a diverse workforce demands personalized technology.

Diversity goes beyond ethnicity to include factors such as age and special needs. Having the right systems in place can be a key to bringing out the best in this emerging, inclusive workforce.

Technology “is making it easier for [companies] to achieve a higher level of diversity in the workplace,” notes Alysia de Saxe, general manager at IT solutions and training provider Saxons Group.

“More and more, many business leaders feel diversity in the workplace is key to increased productivity and evolution in today’s landscape,” and managing diversity in the workplace has become easier through consistent enhancements in technology, de Saxe says.

The key for organizations is to design an end-user technology environment that supports all types of workers, regardless of their roles. Deploying the right hardware and software can allow a company to create a work environment that supports individuals with mental and physical characteristics that might otherwise make it difficult for them to succeed.

“This includes everything from computers designed for those with physical impairments and keyboards or mouses that are a bit larger for those that have visual trouble, to programs that read emails out loud and offer voice typing capability,” de Saxe says. With these types of tools, the company can be more inclusive than it might be with a more traditional technology infrastructure.

It’s important that senior executives in IT, the lines of business, human resources, and other areas consider diversity when they are planning end-user technology deployments.

Age can be an important factor in technology use and adoption, and making the wrong decisions on hardware and software can impact a company’s ability to hire workers. For example, Millennials are reshaping the world of work, and IT departments are working to add flexibility to the way they’re supporting the Millennial worker, according to a report by Forrester Consulting commissioned by Dell.

It’s not just about providing the right tools and devices to employees so they can get their jobs done effectively, the study notes. IT needs to offer an overall workplace ecosystem that appeals to these younger workers. “As the workforce changes, Millennials have become the largest generation in the workforce,” the study says. “Together, changing work styles and emerging technologies breed immense expectations.”

As part of the report, Forrester surveyed 560 information workers across all industries in the U.S., Australia, India, and the U.K., and 82% said that by tailoring devices and ecosystems, employees will increase efficiency and productivity. Enabling the workforce also improves employee experience (80%) and decision making (75%), and helps people make quicker business decisions (75%).

Writes Lisa McQuerrey, “A workforce composed of different age demographics creates an environment where each generation brings different skills and talents to the table. For example, young employees likely have a strong grasp on the use of high-tech business mediums such as social networking, online product demonstrations and webcasting. More mature professionals often have exceptional interpersonal skills and perform well in environments where traditional in-person communication is used.”

As technology disrupts every part of the business model, the study says, organizations must enable their employees by using multiple but equitable workforce engagement tools to boost productivity, enhance employee experience, and make quicker decisions.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.