Internal communication with a young population

October 02, 2019

A leader is talking with a young population
Amber Mayer

Is your population growing with millennials and are you unsure how to communicate effectively with them? Are you afraid of staff turnover because your young population is unhappy with seeing follow through? Do you see low productivity in your young population? 

They want to be direct and transparent communication.

The young population in today’s workplace desire direct communication that is transparent and honest. They are more confident and vocal than the previous generation. They feel comfortable speaking to senior level management, and they will make plans to. They value internal communications that encourages further discussion and plans for change. Embrace the direct communication style and try and create an open company culture where this is welcomed. These qualities demonstrate promise and leadership skills that can be developed and shows that they want to be a part of the decision-making process and be heard.

They like direct written communication.

The young generation have streamlined written communication, bypassing telephone conversations altogether. Sending out text messages, instant messaging or email is an easy and efficient way to get in touch. Choosing to communicate through these methods allows for easy project tracking; they can return to their projects, pull up messages, and recall project details and deadlines with their mobile device. Communicating with instant message or a slack-group conversation can garner a much faster response than that of an email. If you have freelancers and remote workers, or in different locations, this will enable you to connect quicker and more efficiently.

Utilize the knowledge of more seasoned workers

More seasoned workers often have a wealth of knowledge that’s critical to an organization’s day to day operations. Once these employees decide to stop working, this presents the challenge of losing the knowledge that’s been gained from years of experience. Many large companies have begun to implement mentorship programs to help transfer the knowledge between the young population and seasoned workers. Research suggests that putting these workers together boosts the performance of both groups. They have matching interests at work, but they are at different life stages, so they are able to work well together and to be less competitive with one another. Using a mixture of ways to communicate and embrace the beneficial relationship between more seasoned workers, the younger population, and employers will help transfer useful knowledge and retain more employees.

Have faster communication

As Internet speeds continue to increase, and the instant availability of information that is on mobile devices, employees are less willing to wait for delays in information from the company, and delays from co-workers to their messages. In order to breach this gap, and to reach a workforce, messages should be brief, to the point, and sent via instant message, in person, text message or email. If you need a quick answer, don’t be afraid to get up and walk to their desk (if they are onsite) and try and get an answer. If they aren’t on site, use instant messaging to follow up.

Don’t overly governance the policies 

Having long complex policies, that can be difficult to understand can create a barrier between you and your employees. You don’t want to parent, or police your population. When employees feel they are being overly governed, it can create higher staff turnover, and cause the young population to disengage. Try to create a list of basic guidelines that are easy to read and understand so that your employees know what is clearly expected. Go through your policies and procedures and ask whether they are relevant to your company and employees to justify keeping them. Don’t make redundant rules to address issues. Try and embed your guidelines in training materials along with your policies. Giving someone helpful advice is more effective than throwing down a policy to govern them by. Remember that less is usually more when employees are trying to understand policies and procedures.

These are the beginning steps to implement when you are adjusting your work culture to a younger population. Don’t expect the changes to happen overnight and try and implement them intentionally and specifically. Listen to your employees if they give you honest feedback for what they want and are looking for. This shows that they want to stick around and help the company succeed.

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