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Research Finds a Growing Generational Gap That Could Affect Innovative Talent

New Workplace Relevance Report from Coveo shows younger workers feel demoralized when they struggle to find the information they need to do their jobs, putting innovative talent at risk.

MONTREAL and SAN FRANCISCO, June 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Coveo (TSX:CVO), a leader in AI platforms that transform digital experiences with intelligent search, recommendations, 1:1 personalization, and merchandising, today released its annual Workplace Relevance Report which found that businesses have entered an era where the majority of their workers are digital natives. They’ve had access to computers and smartphones almost their entire lives — not only does technology not intimidate them, their expectations are driven by the consumerization of IT.

This year’s Workplace Relevance Report surveyed 4,000 people, across generations, who work with computers in the U.S. and UK. It found many generational nuances within larger themes:

  • Most are hindered from finding needed information, with an increase in those unable to find critical data on a weekly basis.
  • Many are stymied by not knowing where to look across multiple applications; overall, they spend 3 hours in an average workday searching across four or more data sources.
  • Workers are unsure if the information they found is correct or even permissible to be shared.
  • As a result, most feel less confident about either the quality of their work or about sharing the information externally.

“Your workforce is the lifeblood of your business,” said Cynthia Connors, General Manager, Platform at Coveo. “Leaders must create an environment that not only enables them to do their daily tasks, but encourages them to flourish and innovate. But not all of your employees have the same needs, or are facing the same frustrations. For example, our survey showed that the cohort of employees just starting their careers devoted more time searching for information than their peers with longer tenure. Luckily, we now have the ability to use AI to deliver a 1:1 personalized experience that suits needs across your diverse workforce. AI can proactively suggest content and information to employees — which means your employees may not have to search at all, instead receiving personalized and relevant recommendations at the time and place of need.”

By establishing good content governance practices, leaders can help ensure their domain experts (those in functional roles such as marketing and HR) are involved in content management, search quality, and empowered to improve the search experience for their users.

2023 Workplace Relevance Report key findings include:

  • Workers estimate they now spend approximately 3 hours in an average workday searching for information, compared to 4 hours last year.
  • Overall 89% of employees search between 1 to 6 sources (up from 82% last year).
  • Generation Z (NET 76%) struggles more to find information than their co-workers. Workers identified as Baby Boomers were least likely to say the intranet is irrelevant.
  • Gen Z reports that 49% of information is irrelevant compared to Boomers at 39%.
  • Almost 3-in-10 workers are unable to find urgently needed information on a weekly basis, a significant increase since last year.
  • Millennials and Gen Z had the strongest reaction to inadequate content findability compared to other generations:
    • 47% (Millennials), 49% (Gen Z) said it makes them feel less qualified to do their work and 35% (Millennials) and 36% (Gen Z) said it makes them feel burnt out.

Gen Z, digital natives, struggle the most to find information, putting companies at risk of losing out an innovative, future cohort for management and leadership.

Arlington Research conducted an online survey of 4,000 adults across the U.S. and UK aged 18+ who use a computer as part of their work in companies with 250+ employees. Responses were captured between January 12–25, 2023.

Download the full report here.


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