Communication stylesdiffer with each generation and employers are facing new challenges as a resultof the diverse and rapidly changing methods of communicating in the workplace.There is added expense, and for the first time in American history, there arefour different generations working side beside in the workplace. Eachgeneration has its own style of communicating ranging from high-tech on one endof the spectrum to the old-fashioned face-to-face on the other end. How do differingvalues affect communication? Because of their varied backgrounds, members ofdifferent generations may value formal or informal approaches. Some will desiremore or less praise. Some will have varying perspectives when it comes to differentthinking and agreement. Baby Boomers have been called the “show me” generationand body language is important to us.
I’m in this generation, and we preferface-to-face or telephone communication and appreciate open, direct, and honestinteractions. Baby Boomers work best when presented with detailed,comprehensive plans. We are OK with email communication, but many believevaluable time is wasted due to incomplete information in email correspondence.
In order to get all of the needed information, emails may be sent back andforth for hours when it would only take a minute or two via a phoneconversation. Millennial Generation are individuals born between1980-2000, the youngest group in the workplace, have grown up in the high-techera. That’s all they know. They value technology, and they are great atmulti-tasking.
Like Generation Xers, they prefer email over telephonic orface-to-face interaction. While Millennials might be leading the change here,workers of all generations can benefit from receiving more frequent feedback. Providecoaching in real time instead of waiting for scheduled performance reviews,. The ever-emerging multigenerational workforce demands ashift in the way we interact and relate to each other, but it won’t always bein the ways that we expect. To work effectively together, everybody from MillennialGeneration to experienced Baby Boomers will have to understand each other’svalues. When we try to understand where individuals from different generationsare coming from, we get a better sense of how we can best communicate our ideasto each other, express opinions about how work performance can be improved andshare our thoughts in a more effective manner.