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Employee CommsHR

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Communicating with 5 Generations in the Workplace

By 

 — August 11th, 2022

How to Avoid the Pitfalls of Communicating with 5 Generations in the Workplace

With Generation Z now in the workforce and many people working well past the traditional retirement age, most companies today have a workforce comprised of multiple generations working together.

And each of these generations has a different way of communicating. From the communication tools they prefer to use, the formality of written communication, and the way that their lives have been impacted by the pandemic, a large gap has formed between older and younger generations.

But bridging the generational gap for these groups doesn't have to be complicated., as communications expert, Megan Thomas outlines in From Boomers to Zoomers: How to Bridge the Generation Gap in Workplace Communications. You can download it for free here or read on for some of the main takeaways. In the guide, Megan walks you through each of the generations, their communication preferences—and potential pitfalls.

The Generational Gap

So, what is the generational gap, and what impact does it have on employees in the workplace?

It arises from differences in behavior and outlook between employees born at different times. Every generation grew up with a unique perspective and will have different expectations based on their life experiences.

Often these differences are shaped by events that occurred throughout each generation’s lifetime, including technological developments, the economy, politics, and more.

It’s important to note that this gap is not unique to generational differences—a variety of factors including race, gender, upbringing, and personality also have a huge impact on the way we interact and communicate.

When companies fail to address the generational gap, problems can arise in the workplace, often coming from misunderstandings due to differences in the way people communicate.

Understanding and learning how to navigate these differences can go a long way in easing tensions between different generations in the workplace.

Recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all when managing a diverse group of employees—companies will need to adapt as their workplace changes, their workforce expands, and they figure out what is and isn’t working.

Generations Existing in the Modern Workplace

There are many benefits that come from having a multigenerational workforce.

Because each generation has varying strengths, concerns, working styles, and job expectations, you can gain a lot from their diverse views.

But having employees with differing preferences and expectations can sometimes cause tension in the workplace.

Bridging the Generational Gaps in the Workplace

From Boomers to Zoomers: How to Bridge the Generation Gap in Workplace Communications

Integrating ideas from a multigenerational workforce is hugely beneficial to employers. While differences in experience, preferences, skill sets, and values can lead to innovation and great problem-solving, they can also cause friction.

With a personalized and flexible approach to employee comms, Internal Communicators can help bridge the gap between these generations by improving the way they interact with each other and the business. 

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