06 Jul Communicating Across Generations in the Workplace
Written by Meagan Perry
Today’s workplaces are filled with professionals of varying ages and generations, leading to interesting communication challenges. In recent years, society has sensationalized the different generational stereotypes and the types of individuals that belong to each of these classifications. Instead of arguing which birth years belong in which category, we should focus on creating meaningful and welcoming communication pathways with each other.
The real barrier here is that we are emphasizing the dividing factors that these stereotypes represent rather than focusing on making human connections. We should see that despite age gaps, we likely have much more in common with our coworkers than we initially thought. For example, we all value a healthy work environment that we feel valued in; therefore, we should be doing our part to foster that environment. We can achieve this by approaching each other openly as trusted coworkers rather than focusing on preconceived notions of generational stereotypes. Actively keeping communication conversational and reaching out to connect with coworkers greatly helps bridge these gaps we have created. When people are part of an environment where they are spoken to as an equal and with genuine interest, they are often more inclined to further connect with others on their team.
While it is true that growing up in different generations provided us with different life experiences and skill sets, rather than being a hindrance, this simply contributes to a workforce that is now teeming with a variety of talent and skills waiting to be maximized. In focusing on the human connection in communication, technology-shaped generations teamed with the classic, long-term oriented generations can work together to develop the best out-of-the-box approaches. The way we choose to communicate with others has the power to completely reorient our work environment into a multi-generational workforce which is proven to contribute to company success.