If you are a manager employing kids home for the summer, or recent college graduates entering the workforce, you may be experiencing a communication gap. The first generation to be fully raised in an era of electronics, and social media has changed how young people ages 16-25 communicate. Effectively learning how to communicate with your younger employees is essential not only for the efficiency of your business but also workplace safety. Here are three tips to help improve communication with younger workers:
- Touch Base Daily. Younger people desire a lot of feedback on how they are doing. For best results forget calling them into your office, instead, make it make informal and spontaneous interaction.
- Face-to-Face. Yes, they always seem to have their face in their phone and the younger generation is proficient at communicating through IM’s and texts. Studies however, have shown that young people lack confidence in their writing skills due to the era of emojis and slang, and feel more confident presenting a professional front to their managers when talking face to face.
- Use Positive Feedback. Set disciplinary action aside when dealing with the younger crowd. Positive feedback has been shown to process in the pre-frontal cortex where problem-solving skills are formed. Using positive feedback is a great opportunity to help a younger worker grow and learn.
Now more than ever the workplace is multigenerational, each age group requiring different communication strategies. As a Manager, be flexible and creative in your communication styles and together you will make a great team.