Differences in communication preferences are a big challenge in today’s workplace. Your boss calls you to ask a quick question about the upcoming presentation, after several minutes of pleasantries, you answer with a few simple words. You then think to yourself, “That could have been handled in 2 texts and 30 secs.”
The generational gap in technology has created a divide in the way Generation Y chooses to communicate. Millennials, defined as people born between 1981 and 2000s, grew up with a larger array of communication tools at their fingertips. No pun intended, those fingertips did most of the communicating, whether online chatting or sending a text. Those preferred communication styles have now carried into the workplace, much to the frustration of management.
In this new business communication environment, how do you capitalize on your employee’s communication preferences?
Gen Y prefers to communicate the same in both their personal and business relationships and from the same device. The BYOD (bring your own device) trend has become increasingly popular, “Nearly two-thirds of millennials use a personal device at work compared with just a third of Baby Boomers. Six in 10 workers in their 20s and 30s used a personal device or app for work.”
Providing your employees with the ability to BYOD will not only please but is cost effective as well.
Hint: In the BYOD workplace, its essential to have proper security and tracking. Ensure your workplace is using the best and most secure enterprise mobile apps for their needs.
You may have noticed your office environment has gotten quieter. While some relish the silence, it’s also an indication of how communication is taking place. The younger work force shies away from the phone and prefers nonverbal forms of communication — email and text. It’s an ongoing debate how this might be affecting business practices, but the reality is, it’s happening.
Phone calls are viewed as a nuisance, interruption, and invasion of privacy. Picking up the phone and making a call is the last resort when other means of communication have failed.
Want to build a stronger bond with your Gen Y workforce? Try sending a text; you’ll probably get a faster response than all those unheard voicemails you’ve been leaving.
With the adoption of social media came the need for brevity. Millennials were conditioned to take in short amounts of information. Twitter is limited to 140 characters and we’re applying that same filter to all our correspondence.
The fact is most emails aren’t even opened and those that are, are rarely read in full. So, if you have something important to tell us, put it front and center, possibly even in the subject line and keep it brief.
This directly relates to rule #3. Long paragraphs of information are tough for an audience with the attention span of a nat. With the numerous distractions we’re faced with on a daily basis, it’s hard to get through lengthy “walls of text.”
We often look for the first few sentences to summarize the entire content, therefore a few bullet points at the top that pull together the main points will be immensely helpful.
Most importantly, never end with your most essential information, it will be missed. (Hmm, maybe I should have put this at the top?)
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