News Poll: Millennials love technology

Industry divided on whether to change training techniques
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

YARMOUTH, Maine—Millennials have entered the workplace, but are they fundamentally different from previous generations? Security Systems News readers said yes in this month’s News Poll: Generation Y is noticeably more tech savvy, they said.

“The industry is in a healthy place because major players are really starting to become more and more ‘in tune’ with the necessity of involving Millennial leaders,” said Nicole Swartwout, CallTeks Security partner, co-owner and a Millennial. “There is no question that we will be a necessary asset in the near future.”

There are more Millennials in the workforce, but are they target customers? Sixty-two percent of respondents said yes. They say Millennials love technology, both at home and at work and are a target demographic. Twelve percent said that Millennials are not yet a target demographic, while 26 percent don’t define demographics by age.

At this year’s ESX, Mike Lamb, UCC VP and project director, and Stephen Smith, ADT national professional development manager, presented “Innovative Training Techniques for Central Station Operators.”

Millennials are different from other generations when it comes to training, according to Lamb and Smith. For instance, the younger generation needs to understand the value in their work. They also question how things work.

Poll respondents were divided on whether training needed to be adapted for Millennials. Thirty-two percent said their companies changed training methods to fit Millennials and 30 percent said Millenials respond to training like any other generation. It depends on the individual, according to 38 percent.

Millennials bring a tech-savvy mindset to the workplace, according to most respondents. “They expect systems to work with technology, and we need to continue to evolve our services as an industry to accommodate that,” said one reader.

Twenty-nine percent said Millennials have a different work ethic, while 12 percent said that the generation isn’t unique.

“This is the same conversation that comes up with every generation. Old hats complain about the work ethic of the kids. The Millennials will have this same conversation 20 years from now,” said one respondent.

Millennials bring a unique perspective to the table, according to Swartwout. “I like to call it ‘reverse mentorship,’ we can learn a lot from history via industry leaders, however … our senior leaders can find that they can learn a lot, too, from our fresh perspectives and knowledge in this IoT world.”