Yoo-Hoo - Can Anybody Hear Me?
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Do you ever feel like your corporate communications are falling on deaf ears? You’re not alone. Communicating to a multi-generational workforce can be tricky. It’s not what you say; it’s definitely how you say it. Multiple generations need to be communicated with in specific, unique ways – which can be a challenge. It’s essential to understand the workforce you have at hand and create your communication strategy around your people.
Most companies are dealing with four major generations ranging from ages 22 through 65+. I know – crazy! To assume each generation will hear, and more importantly understand, your messages the same way is just not realistic. But, how the heck do you overcome this conundrum?
Understanding where your employees “fit” in terms of their generation is essential in beginning to construct more meaningful communication campaigns and strategies. Here’s a deeper look into each generation:
Veterans (born pre-1945)
- Like written and more formal communication means (i.e. memos, articles and posters)
- Learn through the “teach me” approach
- Prefer face-to-face communication – especially in regards to career pathing
Communication campaign approach should be comprised of written materials (i.e. memos, articles and posters).
Baby Boomers (born 1946-1960)
- Like communicating through personal interaction (i.e. one-to-one discussions, presentations, informative and meaningful meetings)
- Want to be “lead to the information” in order to teach themselves
- Thrive on conversations about more work-related items, specifically their personal contributions
Communication campaign approach should be focused on creating communications that are more personal (i.e. one-to-one discussions, presentations, informative takeaway handouts).
Generation X (born 1961-1980)
- Like direct communications
- One-on-one interaction works best to drive results
- Phone interaction works – but only at work
- Want to be connected to the right people in order to learn and understand
- Motivated by feedback– positive or otherwise
Communication campaign approach should reflect a mixture of written, personal and electronic mediums (i.e. posters, informative handouts, presentations, videos).
Generation Y (born 1981-1995)
- Appreciate direct communication
- Electronically through text messages, emails and social media
- Hallway conversations
- Consider knowledge is power, so multiple means of connecting them to information is critical in their learning and understanding
- Fun is ideal
- Open to 24/7 communicating if it’s entertaining enough
Communication campaign should focus on messages through electronic means (i.e. text messages, emails, videos and social media).
Understanding these differences in communication styles is imperative in ensuring your corporate messages are heard. In a nutshell, yes, our multi-generational workforce hears messages differently, but the good news is they’re all still willing to listen. The bigger question here is: are you up for the challenge?
Check out this chart for a better understanding of each generation. For more detailed information on how to communicate with them, check out our webinar recording: Communicating Benefits to a Multi-Generational Workforce.
- X Marks the Spot
- Say it Ain't So
- Webinar Replay: Communicating Benefits to a Multi-Generational Workforce
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