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Communicating with Employees – One size does not fit all!

It is essential to continually communicate with ones employees in order to ensure a happy and productive work force.

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It has long been accepted that happy employees equal a successful organization. Coupled with this is the knowledge that informed employees are the happy ones. But what is possibly news to many is that every generation has a differing approach to the way they like to engage, their outlook on life, the ways and means that they communicate and how they like to be rewarded. This has a very real affect on the way that employers should be communicating with their staff and, if not acknowledged, could result in dismal failure of any internal communications campaigns.

To give a brief summary of the various Generations, there are the Baby Boomers who were born between 1946 and 1964 (46-64yrs). Then there comes Generation X (aka the Rebels), who were born between 1961 and 1981 (29-49yrs). Following this is Generation Y (aka the Millennials) who were born between 1980 and the year 2000 (10-30yrs).

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When it comes to internal communications you cannot use the same communication style that you would use for the Baby Boomers and apply it to the younger generations as the message you are trying to convey will be lost on the younger ones and vice versa.

Often you find that in large corporations the Baby Boomers Generation are the leaders and managers and may be reluctant to adopt online and digital media channels to communicate with their employees, which in most cases are made up by a big portion of Millennials, who want to be communicated with in a different way and are comfortable with digital media.

As an example, a manager from the Baby Boomers generation may prefer to hand write a memo that they place on an employee’s desk – whereas a Millennial employee would prefer an email to go to their inbox that they can retrieve via their laptops or cell phones.

Then we come to employees from within Generation X. Also often the leaders and managers in companies – they have a strong sense of individualism and are also very diverse in aspects of society such as race, class, religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Generation X, although not born in the digital age, are eager adopters of online media.

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Millennials, or Generation Y, make up the biggest portion of the workforce in South Africa. They are achievement-orientated employees and super multi-taskers who like to work in teams and embrace challenges together. Digital media, email and sms are ideal ways to communicate with this generation, who are seen as ‘Digital Natives’ and thrive on communication via social sharing.

(Interestingly, Google is losing their market share to Facebook due to searches being done on facebook instead of Google by the younger Generation Y members).

FusionDesign have the Strategists on hand, to assist with Internal Communication Campaigns and R&R Programs – specially developed around your organisation Challenges & Goals. Contact Carmen on 082 8255 715 to discuss your company goals.