Beyond Labels – Part 2: Enhancing Communication

Part two of four featuring a generational timeline that includes Veterans, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.

Generational barriers in the workplace can cause challenges that affect a company’s productivity. Working together to find solutions to these challenges is paramount in order to create a positive company culture that fosters growth and success.

Part 1 of our Beyond Labels series focused on identifying the working generations, understanding the differences of each, and working together to move past stereotypes and begin building a strong team that puts a high value on respect for one another. Next, let’s take a look at a key element of breaking down generational barriers: communication.

Communication is an essential component of understanding each individual and their roots. The ways in which we like to communicate are different for everyone. Some prefer to have discussions face-to-face or over the phone, while others tend to lean towards text-based communication styles, such as emails and texting. There are no hard and fast rules as to which is best; the key is to find out what an individual prefers, to enhance your overall communication with that person.

Every individual is different, so it’s best to create a balance by understanding and being comfortable with communicating through all possible avenues. This creates an all-inclusive culture that everyone can be comfortable contributing to, and shows your willingness to cater to others’ preferred methods.

Be willing to put the time and effort into figuring out which form of communication each individual prefers. Less comfortable with face-to-face discussions? Not as text savvy as the next person? Ask peers for tips on what works for them, and practice to increase your comfort level. Don’t stereotype by age and assume you know the best way to communicate with anyone. When in doubt, ask what the individual prefers.

Looking to learn more about working with members of different generations? Check back next week for Part 3 of our Beyond Labels series to learn how education and different learning styles will play a crucial role in bringing out the best of each generation.