Internal communications can make or break an organization. At times, it seems like different generations speak different languages. So how can we all connect and collaborate when there is work to be done? As more and more millennials are poised to enter the Dubai workforce each year, it’s imperative that both employers and employees of older generations remain equipped and proactive to work productively with their younger co-workers.
Generational gaps in the workplace can lead to organizational internal communication issues, which can, in turn, cause larger problems down the road. However, internal communication concerns can be prevented. We’ve compiled a few helpful tips geared at helping your organization to improve internal communications to bridge the generational gap within your organization.
Keep Everyone Up to Speed with Technology
We have all had conversations with older generations that begin with “When I was your age” or “Back in my day…”. Millennials often complain that they grow tiresome of being told how unconventional they are from previous generations. But truth be told, the younger workforce is different from their predecessors. They grew up in a different world, and technological climate than their parents and grandparents did. Millennials had the luxury of the internet at their fingertips, literally on their smartphones.
In a recent Nielsen survey, Millennials cited “technology use” as the most. Ultimately, if all of your employees are not familiar with and using Snapchat, iPhone, Instagram, and other popular social media technologies, you are grossly underestimating the value these platforms can have at bridging the gap between generation within your organization.
Instead of asking younger employees how they approach their position with the innovative technologies at their disposal (i.e. the internet, social media, etc.) level the playing field. Consider offering tutorials or classes for older employees to keep them up to speed on the latest advances in technology and industry practices. This will work to give younger employees and employees from older generations a common ground.
Use Media Relations and Video to Your Advantage
If you’re supervising a virtual team, consider applying video technology to connect with your employees. Younger employees live in the age of YouTube, and they connect through the medium of video.
Look to the Internet for videos to use during training and development sessions. There are virtually thousands of reputable videos on every topic, about every industry. You’re sure to find a video that’s relevant to your message, task, or point. You can even record messages using your webcam to send them to employees instead of writing long memos and emails. Not only does this allow organizational leaders to connect on a more personal level with all of their employees but it also works to bridge the technology gap between generations.
Promote Teamwork and Collaboration
Regardless of your industry, there are times when an employee needs to tackle a project individually, but other times they need to work together as a team. When employees collaborate, a world of opportunities opens up.
Sometimes, collaboration is precisely what it takes for innovative ideas and solutions to come to fruition. Working together allows different generations in the workplace to coach and mentor each other. Older generations have real world experience and industry knowledge that can’t be taught in a training session. Younger generations are often in the know to the latest industry trends and technologies. When you combine these assets, you get the best of both worlds and your generational gap all but disappears.
Create a Mentorship Program
Another great way to bridge the generation gap in the workplace and facilitate cross-generational collaboration is to develop a mentorship program within your company. This creates a fair and balanced platform so each party can benefit (regardless of age), and it also helps to build stronger interpersonal relationships between associates.
When it comes to bridging the generational gap in the workplace, it all boils down to showing your employees respect and empowering them. Clinging to traditional routines may work against this. Consider re-evaluating your current routines and creating new routines to produce higher rates of both productivity and employee engagement.
Regardless of how prepared you are, you’re bound to run into situations where age gap has an impact on productivity. If you use the tips presented above, you’ll be one step closer to bridging the generational gap in the workplace, particularly when it comes to internal communications.