Communicating with a Team that Has a Big Generation Gap

Caroline Duncan - Aug 30, 2018 8:54:13 AM

People from different backgrounds and experiences bring a range of skills, knowledge and viewpoints to your organization to make it competitive and agile.


One of the ways your organization may have diversity is its workforce ages spanning actual generations. While generational diversity is great, it can also be challenging when it comes to internal communication and engagement as different generational cohorts have different preferences.

Baby boomers – born between 1946 and 1964

This cohort belong to the generation that founded the corporate culture of the modern era. They are more likely to prefer a traditional work structure, such as the 9-5, and traditional working methods. Many of them have worked in the same job or for the same company for most, if not all, of their working lives.

Generation X – born from the mid 1960s to mid 1980s

Generation X were born at the start of the technology boom and have often had analogue childhoods and seen the rapid change of technology in their teenage and young adult years. They generally prefer flexibility and freedom in their work practices and aim for work/life balance. They don’t like red tape and bureaucracy.

Millennials – born from the late 1980s onwards

Also sometimes referred to as Generation Y, this generation have had technology and innovation surrounding them for all of their lives and have grown up with advances in technology being the norm. They enjoy feedback from peers and social media has been a major part of their entire lives.

The generation gap not only affects the way they prefer to communicate, nut the way they judge work, their aptitude and comfort with technology and their cultural values and preferences.

It’s important to understand that if you have a generationally diverse workforce that you will need to factor this in to your internal communication efforts while recognizing these generational preferences.

Three ways you can do this are:

Have a company blog

You can share news from management, HR, IT, communications and other teams using a digital platform, but in a more traditional news format that can appeal across generations. Ensure that your employees know where they can find the blog, of course, and offer a way for them to be informed when an update appears.

Using video conferencing

The benefits of traditional face-to-face meetings are here, incorporating technology, and should appeal to the different generations in your workforce as a way of meeting and collaborating that isn’t in group chat or doesn’t involve traveling long distances just for a meeting.

Use DeskAlerts

Email communication may be favored by older employees, but younger employees increasingly find it frustrating as their inboxes heave with so many unread messages. Instead of sending all company emails, share your important news using DeskAlerts where they will appear as pop-up messages on the desktops of your employees.

These messages will be seen no matter what other software your employees are using at the time, and was specifically designed to cut through the digital clutter of the modern age.

Topics: Internal Communication Best Practices


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