We’re at an interesting point in history. We have generations that grew up without the internet, and those that have never been without it, all in the same workforce. These are your customers, employees, team members. And in order to work effectively with each generation as a business owner, you have to be extremely flexible, and prepared to deliver you message in multiple ways, in order to reach people of every generation.
Here are some tips to help you work effectively with multiple generations.
- Research: Take the time to understand the needs and communication styles of the generations that you work with. For example, Generation Y prefers texting over email communication, whereas baby boomers prefer a phone call or face to face communication. Generation X wants you to communicate via email or text, but you need to keep it short. By researching the communication preferences of each generation, you can craft messages that are more effective, and that help you get your message across. Here’s an article where you can start: Communicating with Many Generations
- Ask: Generalizations about communication preferences are great, but it’s also important to ask the individuals you work with how they want you to communicate with them. For example, many people today prefer to learn via video, and there is a big push to produce authentic videos of actual customer experiences. Yet there are still some who don’t have the patience for video, and would prefer a quick summary of steps. Make sure you’re asking how people you work with want to hear from you, and then honor those communication preferences.
- Be Flexible: As you work with multiple generations, you may need to deliver the same message in different ways in order to reach everyone. So this means you need to learn all the communication techniques (text, email, video, handwritten note, social networking, etc.) and then be prepared to deliver each message in a variety of mediums. For example, if you want to let your customer base know about a sale, you may send out a text alert to your customers that have signed up for that list, include it in your email newsletter, record a short video about it that you post to YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, and write a personal note to your best customers that you send through the mail. In this way, you can be sure that everyone, regardless of generation, gets the message.
In order to be a business that attracts many, you need to communicate in the ways that people prefer to hear from you. So be sure you’re taking the time to learn about generational communication preferences, and then create a strategy to communicate effectively with the many generations you serve.
How do you adapt your communication style for various generations? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!