Photo: Cayce Clifford / Bloomberg
A lack of employee confidence in executives’ understanding of their digital needs and differing worker attitudes toward technology represent major HR issues around the world, according to survey data released this week by Stamford-based IT consulting and research firm Gartner.
Less than 50 percent of workers in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific region believed their companies’ chief information officers were aware of technology problems that affect them. Only 41 percent of American workers said their CIOs were aware of their digital challenges, compared with 58 percent of European professionals.
“Non-IT workers aren’t likely to use the IT help desk as their first source of assistance and are less likely to believe in the value of their IT organization,” Whit Andrews, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said in a statement.
Differences across generations
The survey, which polled 3,120 people, also showed that millennial workers, aged 35 and younger, were less likely to approach IT support teams through conventional means.
About 53 percent of millennials outside IT departments said that searching for an answer online would comprise one of their first three ways to solve a technology problem.
“When I look at millennials, they’re so much more technically astute and so much more aware of technology, and that’s really changed the role of IT leadership in companies,” said David Lewis, founder and CEO of the Norwalk-based HR consulting and outsourcing firm Operations Inc. “Their instinct is ‘I’m going to figure it out myself’ — and usually they are able to find that answer.”
Non-IT professionals were more likely than IT specialists to express dissatisfaction with their company’s technology. Some 41 percent of non-IT workers felt very or completely satisfied with their work devices, compared with 59 percent of IT specialists.
“Many IT departments will be more successful if they are able to provide what workers say they need,and provide inspiration so they can increase the workforce’s digital dexterity,” Andrews said.
The survey found that 32 percent of IT specialists described themselves as experts in the digital platforms they use in the workplace. Only 7 percent of non-IT workers made the same assessment.
About two-thirds of non-IT workers felt that their organization did not take advantage of their digital skills.
At the same time, about three in four workers agreed to some extent that the technology provided by their organization allows them to accomplish their work.
Apps in the workplace
Among workplace applications favored by survey takers, 58 percent said they used messaging services, 55 percent used sharing tools and 52 percent used social media.
Twenty-six percent of workers between the ages of 18 and 24 used unapproved apps to collaborate with colleagues, compared with 10 percent of those between 55 and 74.
“Personally, I believe in ‘separation of church and state’ — that there are certain IT systems for work purposes and other applications for personal use,” Lisa Mainiero, a professor of management at Fairfield University, said in an email. “For example, Tinder is geography-based, and the question is: Do you really want to hook up with someone from your office, with all the implications thereof?”
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