With four generations of employees in the workforce, bridging multi-generational communication is more important now than ever. Communication is required to support employee relationships, rapport, and team cohesion.
Effective communication increases employee engagement, performance, and productivity. Communication also elevates job satisfaction, employee morale, and attraction and retention rates. These factors strengthen your bottom line.
As a result, you want to support communication among your multi-generational employees. These methods can help.
Crack the generation code by using these tips to bridge multi-generational communication.
Focus on Commonalities
Remind multi-generational employees to focus on their commonalities. Examples include:
- The need for respect
- The need to be heard
- The need for recognition
Identify Communication Preferences
Ask your multi-generational employees to share with each other their preferred methods of communication. Using an employee’s preferred methods supports collaboration and team cohesion.
For instance, because Gen X, millennials, and Gen Z are comfortable with technology, they might prefer email, instant messaging, or texting. Conversely, baby boomers might prefer in-person or phone conversations.
Prioritize Ongoing Learning
Emphasize the importance of multi-generational employees learning from each other. Because employees of any age know things that others might not, helping each other provides additional value for your team.
For instance, since baby boomers and Gen X have more experience with industries and internal processes, they can help millennials and Gen Z learn and adapt within the organization. Also, because millennials and Gen Z stay current on trends and purchasing habits, they can help baby boomers and Gen X stay connected to markets.
Diversify Project Teams
Assign multi-generational employees to work on projects. Let the teams decide who leads the projects, how the roles are assigned, and how accountability is maintained. Combining diverse ideas, perspectives, skills, and experiences supports communication, understanding, collaboration, and innovation.
Support Conflict Resolution
Encourage multi-generational employees to be straightforward and specific when a disagreement happens. For instance, support employees in sharing their viewpoints and ways of doing things to determine how to approach a project or task. Also, let the employees discuss the advantages of each method and decide which would be most effective. Then, the employees can work together to implement the best approach.
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