The face of organizations as we know them is changing, driven most significantly by multi-generational workforces. Different generations prefer differing means of communication, and failing to engage employees at all levels is a clear recipe for disaster.
From an extreme perspective, simply ignoring these differences will result in both ineffective communications and a lack of understanding between employees, witnessed in various forms including conflict, reduced productivity and poor morale.
So if you are managing amongst a diverse group consisting of various generations, consider the following to help improve the reception and value of your communications.
Baby Boomers: Use email for basic one directional communications, transitioning to face to face discussions for more important matters.
Generation X: Use email predominately, however follow up with face to face discussions when there is a sense of urgency or importance. Provide opportunities for small groups to consider your communications and to reach consensus on how best to move forward on what you have requested.
Millenials: Keep communications brief (i.e. instant messaging or texts). For more important discussions, hold in a group forum allowing those in attendance to freely discuss their thoughts and opinions relative to what you are trying to convey. Be open and receptive to feedback and avoid making harsh decisions without considering feedback first.
The diversity in today’s workforce provides both challenges and opportunities. Taking time to consider how to best position and portray your communications is the only means to increase your effectiveness and establish an environment in which others are receptive to both yourself and your message.
Spend less time talking and more time thinking about how to convey your message.
© Shawn Casemore 2013. All rights reserved.
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