Using Gen Y tech savvy to your advantage

You expect colleges and universities to prepare your youngest workers for their new jobs. But are you prepared for them?

These digital natives quickly grow impatient with last year’s hardware and software. Hiring them puts more pressure on your organization to keep its technology ahead of the curve.

Here are seven ways to use technology to retain Gen Y’ers:

1. Supply the latest tech. Equip young employees with workplace tools that mirror those they use in their everyday lives.

2. Don’t dismiss Gen Y sites such as as legitimate work tools. Some young sales reps, for instance, successfully use online social networking to market and sell products.

3. Reward your Gen Y’ers—who thrive on constant recognition—with high-tech prizes like PDAs, MP3 players and the latest cell phones.

4. Help computer-confident newcomers update their skills. If they can count on keeping one technological step ahead of their friends, they’ll brag about it.

5. Go high-tech with training. Face-to-face lectures are unlikely to captivate recent college grads. Colleges rely more on e-learning and interactive, computer-assisted classroom lessons. Your organization can do the same.

6. Pair computer-savvy young workers with older colleagues who need to learn tech skills. Both parties will benefit from the interaction.

7. Upgrade your telecommuting program so workers have access to all their office tools no matter where they work.