Let’s face it. Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) and Matures (born before 1946) were not born with a computer in-hand. They have had to LEARN the technology that the Millennial (born 1980-2000) in particular, takes for granted. If you are a Millennial, chances are, you have no patience for the older adult who has difficulty with technology.
Imagine – oh my – if you are the Millennial in the workplace who’s job it is to train the new user who is a Baby Boomer or worse yet, a Mature. If possible, assign this to someone from Generation X (born 1965-1979). They generally have much more patience with Boomers and the Matures. Members of Generation X are quite comfortable with technology but, unlike the Millennial, they were not born with a computer in their hand.
So what do you do? The following are some tips and tricks to help with the new user:
- Listen to your new user. If your new user does not understand the computing environment, do not get exasperated and angry. Give him a training course or another user who is closer in age to train and mentor.
- Be generous with your support…at least at the beginning. You do not want him to develop an “us against them” attitude.
- Be flexible. Introduce new software slowly.
- Show him what you are willing to do rather than doing what he wants you to do.
- Be consistent.
- Be realistic – as natural as a computer is to you, it is not for the older Baby Boomer or Mature.
The success or failure depends on you and your mastery of the principles of user training.
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