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29. Bridging Generational Communication Gaps in the Workplace

29. Bridging Generational Communication Gaps in the Workplace

Surveys to Resolve Internal Communication Problems

Young people are joining the workforce in an age of complex environmental changes due to technological advancements and shifting social dynamics. This can cause tension between employees who belong to different generations. Many businesses are finding it difficult to facilitate clear, open communication among employees who have very different expectations around workplace communication practices. Bridging these employee communication gaps is the only way companies will be able to leverage the knowledge and skills of every employee and advance business.

Since 2010, Recruit Management Solutions (RMS) has conducted an annual survey that measures the work attitudes and communication preferences of new hires at clients’ businesses. RMS conducts a similar survey of employees in supervisory roles every few years. The survey results are then used to adjust RMS’s domestic human resources services such as training development, candidate interview frameworks, and job advertisements. RMS also publishes year-by-year comparisons of the results online, along with suggested ways for businesses to use the insights to foster better communication among employees.

Many employers have used the insights to gain a better understanding of how their employees build and maintain professional relationships. For example, recent survey results suggest that an employee’s background, including their socioeconomic status, education, and exposure to technology, affect how they choose to communicate with their colleagues. These findings show that Millennial and Generation Z employees have very different expectations around workplace communication compared to older generations. And because those belonging to older generations are often supervising new, younger employees, this communication dissonance can impact work performance.

As workplaces evolve, it is crucial for businesses to maintain a culture of open communication in order to take advantage of the strengths of every employee. By continuously revising HR services in response to new survey results, RMS gives employers a chance to update work culture paradigms and cultivate a better understanding of generation-dependent work styles and communication practices so that employees can feel supported and motivated in their professions.

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