differ with each generation and employers are facing new challenges as a result
of the diverse and rapidly changing methods of communicating in the workplace.
There is added expense, and for the first time in American history, there are
four different generations working side beside in the workplace. Each
generation has its own style of communicating ranging from high-tech on one end
of the spectrum to the old-fashioned face-to-face on the other end. How do differing
values affect communication? Because of their varied backgrounds, members of
different generations may value formal or informal approaches. Some will desire
more or less praise. Some will have varying perspectives when it comes to different
thinking and agreement.
Baby Boomers have been called the “show me” generation
and body language is important to us. I’m in this generation, and we prefer
face-to-face or telephone communication and appreciate open, direct, and honest
interactions. Baby Boomers work best when presented with detailed,
comprehensive plans. We are OK with email communication, but many believe
valuable time is wasted due to incomplete information in email correspondence.
In order to get all of the needed information, emails may be sent back and
forth for hours when it would only take a minute or two via a phone
Millennial Generation are individuals born between
1980-2000, the youngest group in the workplace, have grown up in the high-tech
era. That’s all they know. They value technology, and they are great at
multi-tasking. Like Generation Xers, they prefer email over telephonic or
face-to-face interaction. While Millennials might be leading the change here,
workers of all generations can benefit from receiving more frequent feedback. Provide
coaching in real time instead of waiting for scheduled performance reviews,.
The ever-emerging multigenerational workforce demands a
shift in the way we interact and relate to each other, but it won’t always be
in the ways that we expect. To work effectively together, everybody from Millennial
Generation to experienced Baby Boomers will have to understand each other’s
values. When we try to understand where individuals from different generations
are coming from, we get a better sense of how we can best communicate our ideas
to each other, express opinions about how work performance can be improved and
share our thoughts in a more effective manner.