Creating strong intergenerational communication in the workplace

Good communication is very important for the success of any business. One of the communication challenges that many businesses face today is the intergenerational workforce. People are working longer hours and retiring later in life, which means that today’s workforce is more generationally diverse than ever before.

Each of these generations brings valuable capabilities, skills and talents to your business but their communication style is also different. These differences in communication and culture can be a challenge between you and your staff, creating potential conflicts and inequalities. By understanding the core values ​​of each generation and what is important to them, you will be able to effectively manage communication across generations and work together as an integrated team.

Multi-generation and challenges in the workplace

There are five distinct generations in today’s workforce, each with different attitudes and values. Each of them has its own preferred method of communication and access to information.

These communication differences between generations can lead to misunderstandings and potential work conflicts. The older generation prefers to communicate face to face or via phone call and email while the younger generation chooses online communication and quickly adopts new technology. These different choices can sometimes make it harder for you to share information with your employees, spend valuable time, and often create excitement.

Here is a breakdown of core values ​​and work ethic across generations:

Generation Z – 1996 to present

The youngest age group is just entering the workforce, similar to the Generation Z Millennium – they are inspired by inclusion in the team project where everyone works together to reach a goal. Generation Z is the use of text and facetime for communication.

Basic values ​​and working principles

Generation Zaire has a strong sense of self-expression and independence and they want to be fulfilled in their jobs. They look to mentors for guidance and knowledge and are looking for job security.

Millennium – 1977 to 1995

Millennials work best in a comfortable and flexible work environment. They like to work in teams and are good at multitasking and blocking the confusion around them. This generation prefers to communicate via text and online and quickly research any information they need using Google.

Basic values ​​and working principles

Millennials focus on both professional and personal achievements, bringing their ambition and creativity to the workplace.

Generation X – 1965 to 1976

Generation X’s are probably the most self-reliant of all generations, in a home where both parents worked. They place a lot of value on the balance of careers, focusing more on the family than their work. They communicate best through text and email without being confronted.

Basic values ​​and working principles

Generation Xs need both direction and structure of their work, asking questions to confirm information and stay on track. They have high job expectations for themselves and their colleagues.

Baby Boomers – 1946 to 1964

Sometimes referred to as both the “I” and the “workaholic” generation, baby boomers often put work ahead of their personal lives. Enjoying team engagement and multitasking, this generation prefers to communicate via phone call or face to face, printing paper copies with digital information.

Basic values ​​and working principles

Baby Boomers have a strong work ethic and they believe that anything is possible. They value personal growth and are extremely ambitious, putting a lot of high quality into their work.

Traditionalist – Born before 1945

Also known as the “silent” generation, traditionalists were raised as “not seen and heard.” They bring it to the workplace, working hard and rarely questioning what they have been asked. This generation still prefers to communicate by phone or in writing and has a harder time than other generations adopting new technologies in the workplace.

Basic values ​​and working principles

Traditionalists are dedicated to their work and have a high level of discipline and respect for those in power. They put their work first and can be relied upon to view any work through competition with high quality.

Effective communication across generations

Bringing together five generations of employees in the workplace is not always easy, there are some things you can do to create positive and effective communication among all members of your team.

In addition to understanding the inspiration and values ​​of each generation, both you and your employees can use these 4 tips to promote better communication:

1. Avoid generational bias

In order to communicate well with everyone on your team, you need to avoid focusing on racial bias. Depending on their age and generation, stereotyping individuals may have unfair judgment and unproductive work relationships. Instead, acknowledge the racial differences and consider the strengths and motivations of each team member to build relationships across all ages.

2. Create intergenerational teams

Uses different generations with individuals who bring different skills and ideals to the table when assembling teams for projects and work. It builds a team that is more innovative and diverse, which can come up with new and creative ways to solve problems.

3. Start good communication

Focus on using strong and efficient communication skills to collaborate across your business:

  • Positive body language – Use a combination of expressions and gestures to show attention and interest, such as open arm and eye contact.
  • Active Listening – Active listening practice can help you understand what is being said.
  • Show empathy – Empathy when communicating shows that you can understand the other person’s point of view and point of view which can help you build a stronger connection.
  • Clarity and Confidence – Being clear and confident leads to clarity and expectations that are not misunderstood.

4. Use different methods of communication

Compromise across communications throughout your business and use a few methods to share information and keep employees up to date. This includes digital, verbal and written communication. When your business is intergenerational it is always best to use several platforms. This way you can be sure that all your employees have received the information they need in the style of communication that they feel most comfortable using.

The final word

Successfully managing an intergenerational workforce is about understanding the differences in communication and work style between your employees. You will be able to improve both productivity and morale by using the tips given here to improve communication by making the most of the skills and values ​​of both young and old generation in your workplace.

Take a look at the visual guide Turbo Tenant Below for a summary of these tips:

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