Managing a multi-generational workforce can be a challenge for Human Resources. It is important to embrace the diversity of your staff while ensuring that all age groups are working effectively together. This can be a delicate and complex task, especially when it comes to communication. Using a variety of technological tools to connect with your employees in a meaningful way can improve efficiency, and help retain your most valuable workers.
The Age Gap
The current US workforce is comprised of four generations: Traditionalists born before 1946, Baby Boomers born from 1946-1964, Generation Xers born from 1965-1979, and Generation Y or Millennials born from 1980-2000. The BLS predicts that by 2024, Millennials will make up over one-third of the US workforce, while some informal surveys anticipate that figure to reach nearly 50% within the next decade. As the percentage of working Millennials grows, it is essential for organizations to adapt their policies and practices to accommodate the demands of younger employees without alienating older generations.
The Role of Technology
Nearly 77% of Americans own smart phones, including roughly 92% of 16-29-year-olds. As communication capabilities evolve, mobile devices will become more prevalent in the workplace. E-mail, text, and instant messaging have increased the speed and efficiency of office communication; while conference calling, web chatting, collaboration, and file sharing programs are making face-to-face meetings obsolete, especially when faced with logistical and time constraints. As a result, being able to communicate with employees using mobile technology will become more crucial over the next few years.
Before adopting a one-size-fits-all approach to your corporate communications, there are a few things to consider:
Who is the recipient? Emails and text messages have been widely embraced by all working generations; however, the Boomers and Gen Xers tend to value in-person interaction and phone calls as well. To Millennials, phone calls and meetings are interruptions and can decrease productivity.
How much interaction is required? For discussions of important issues or collaboration on a project, Emails and texts are burdensome and ineffective. Opt for conferencing, file sharing, or in-person meetings.
What is the subject matter? Phone calls are ideal for urgent matters, and to discuss sensitive or confidential information. Email is effective for short discussions, announcements, or for situations in which a paper trail is required. Push notifications and texts can be used for promoting company events, reminders, and quick messages.
To ensure your company is effectively communicating in a way that is comfortable for employees of all ages, consider conducting a survey where individuals can specify their preferences and opt-in to text messaging or push notifications. Continuwell offers a variety of methods for connecting with your staff through an easy to access mobile app. Our platform is customizable to help you reach your employees in the most effective way. Contact us to discover more about how we help your employees feel empowered and keep them engaged with your company.
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