August 25, 2008
BusinessWeek.com provides a good article for adjusting your communication for Gen X and Gen Y employees. I can’t speak to the Gen Y suggestions, but I find the Gen X piece to be spot on.
Generation X: Keep it up-to-date and motivating. Music at work, BlackBerrys, IM, and fast computers will help Gen X stay productive.
Generation Y: Encourage suggestions and don’t fear change. Gen Y is more comfortable with technology than any other group. Learn from them and stay on the cutting edge.
Generation X: Limit in-person meetings. Offer alternatives like conference calls, video, and Web conferencing when collaboration is truly needed. For face-to-face meetings, stick to small productive groups and skip long planning sessions.
Generation Y: Gen Y started online social networks. Think about how you can leverage them in the workplace to encourage team collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Generation X: Give them a heads-up if they should dress nicer for specific meetings or when customers are visiting the office. They’re aware it’s important to look professional, so telling them to “step it up” should not cause too much tension.
Generation Y: They’re new to the job market and might be oblivious to your company’s culture. Let them know dressing better will help defeat “slacker” misconceptions, build credibility with execs, and help their career over the long haul—especially in a weak economy.