Much has been said about the importance of internal communication in business: how it helps remove silos, increase efficiency and productivity, enhance customer service and generally make the business better. As a business leader, you need to continuously look at the way your organization communicates with its external and internal customers.
The Millennial Staff
According to the Pew Research Center, the GenYers have surpassed the number of baby boomers in the workplace in the first quarter of 2015. If you look at your employees, you would most likely see that you have more millennials in employment now, compared with your baby boomer staff. The way you communicate with your people matters. If you communicate with your Gen Y staff the way as you do with the older members of your team, then you probably are not getting through.
Millennials are a totally different bunch of people. Having grown up in an environment of constant connectivity, they have certain habits, expectations and communication styles unique to their generation. If your organization is to enjoy the talent, skills and creativity millennial workers have to offer, then you must know how to connect.
Dealing with Millennials
To get through to your millennial employees, you need to understand them: who they are and what drives them. This way, you can connect with them and foster employee engagement. Here are some effective communication tips you can follow in dealing with the millennials in your organization:
1. Be honest. Millennials value trust more than they do sugar coating. They can be brutally frank and so they expect the same from you. They speak their minds because they know that being direct to the point will not just help them but the whole company as well. You must create an environment where they could speak up and share their insights. More often than not they can provide a fresh perspective on things.
2. Listen. Millennials appreciate knowing that you hear them and that their opinions matter. While this is true for all people, it matters more for millennials. They know they are smart, so they expect to be a part of decision making for which they know they can bring good insights on.
3. Communicate constantly. Unlike baby boomers who want to be left alone to do their tasks, millennials greatly value feedback at almost every step they take. Of course they do not just want you talking to them all the time; they also expect to move forward and get promoted, especially when they do well on their tasks. If you want to engage and keep them, do not disregard their efforts.
4. Ask them what they need. Because they are smart and honest, they would not beat around the bush. They will tell you what they need to perform their tasks better. When you give them what they need, they become happier, more engaged and therefore more productive.
5. Try wit. One of the most effective communication tips we can offer for dealing with millennials is: out with the political correctness and in with a mixture of wit and humor. You will better communicate with millennials if you use elements of humor, even in discussing important things.
6. Learn their language. Millennials like to abbreviate: NP, BTW and LOL and are just some of the most common abbreviations they use. If you are to engage them, you must learn how to use these terms in communication. Don’t overdo it, though, or you might come off as trying too hard.
The millennials are here to stay, transforming the workplace and the way organizations work. By following these effective communication tips, you would better connect with your millennial workers, allowing your organization to enjoy the talent, the creativity and the skill they offer.