Mastering Communication and Collaboration in Multigenerational Workplaces

As more people continue to work later into their golden years, the face of our country’s workforce is becoming much more multigenerational. In fact, if things continue to progress along their current path, it’s quite possible many companies will have employees ranging from 18 to 80-years-old. While age is not necessarily a factor in an employee’s productivity, the need for effective communication across these different generations is a factor as they navigate how to collaborate and communicate.

Achieving Effective Collaboration

This challenge is easier said than done. Millennials and Gen Zers communicate much differently than Baby Boomers. In fact, every generation communicates in a unique way. Thus, managing these different age groups in a workplace is a challenge in and of itself, but when you add the latest technology to the mix, achieving effective communication becomes even more difficult. However, with the help of unified communications, it is possible to achieve effective collaboration and communication in multigenerational workplaces.

What Is Unified Communications Services?

Unified communications services combine all types of communications, including video, voice, instant messaging, and more to provide an effective method to improve both communication and learning experiences. This type of service is vital for multigenerational workforces to learn to communicate effectively across each unique generation. Unified communications integrate systems and devices to improve collaborative experiences and create better communication. These services are beneficial for both enterprise and education in several ways:

  • Improved communication between every level of an organization
  • Improved collaboration and clarity via more personalized communication
  • More effective teamwork through quicker access to information and experts

The key is learning how to integrate and master unified communications services into your multigenerational workforce.

Mastering Unified Communications

Enterprises and organizations have implemented the following ideas into their communication plans and been able to learn to effectively manage their unified communications services. Let’s take a look and see how to integrate this into every business.

  1. Provide the ability to communicate with the technology of their choice. Because not all generations communicate in the same way, or with the same tools, it’s important for organizations to provide several different methods of communication. From voice to text, and from video to email, when employees have access to all kinds of communication methods they feel more comfortable communicating with others. This can play a big role in how well your multigenerational workforce communicates and interacts with each other, meaning the chances of successful collaboration improves greatly.
  2. Offer training programs for those who want to learn new technologies. Every employee is different, which means while some choose to use specific communications forms, other employees will want to learn additional ways to interact. A company or organization can greatly enhance its collaboration within its multigenerational workforce by providing sufficient learning and growth opportunities for those who want to enhance their communication abilities and skills. These training programs will improve your employees’ skills, as well as your organization’s ability to collaborate.
  3. Mentoring programs with people from different generations paired together. Taking advantage of the skills and experience your employees already have to help other employees learn new skills is an invaluable way to enhance collaboration and bridge the gap in your workforce. An excellent way to do this is to provide mentoring programs where employees from different generations are paired together to help both people learn and grow. For example, baby boomers can teach Millennials from their years of hands-on experience, while Millennials can help Boomers learn the finer points of the latest technology. You employees will grow and your company will reap the benefits.
  4. Eliminate the stereotypes. Remember, every generation is different. However, that doesn’t mean that everyone from a certain generation must be placed in a set group and associated with only those specific stereotypes. In other words, even though Millennials prefer to text or do video chat over voice calls, that doesn’t mean they can’t make a phone call. Likewise, although baby boomers prefer a traditional phone call rather than texting, they too can learn to type on their phones. Additionally, as these different generations learn to work together they can help each other adapt and acquire new skills that will improve collaboration and communication in the workplace.

Improving Your Multigenerational Workforce Communication

Effective communication is vital to the success of any workforce, no matter how many different generations you employ in your company or organization. By implementing and utilizing unified communications services effectively you can master this skill and improve collaboration in your multigenerational workplace.

Photo Credit: jim.gardiner.papabear Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on New Era Technology.