Our ten top tips to bring a multi-generational workforce together through carefully considered communications.
1. Personalise – you may have 100 employees showing up to the same event, but each will have a different perception and expectation when they arrive. Think about how you can tap into that and personalise the experience for each of them. Technology and digital can be powerful here.
2. Involve millennials in decision making – no-one’s suggesting half of your board needs to be millennials (not yet anyway!) but as critical trend setters and organisational influencers, successful companies are engaging millennials (and all generations for that matter) in their decision making.
3. Be experiential – the way people are engaging with brands is changing – that includes your customers and your employees. Create memories with your corporate strategy through experiential events (not just stand and tell) and emotional engagement.
4. Talent partnering – a great way of maximising productivity in a multi-generational workforce is through mentorship, cross generation project teams or mixed break-out groups/ team builders at events. Older workers pass on knowledge and leadership skills, while the younger generations share fresh perspectives and technological know-how. It also breaks down stereotypes and builds trust.
5. Invest in face to face – millennials may have grown up with texting, emailing and social media, but like their older colleagues, they’re still looking for genuine engagements that go beyond technology. We work with leadership teams who make it their business to get in front of every employee across the world at least twice a year – they value it that much.
6. Avoid digital for digital’s sake – digital can be a powerful tool but only to meet certain objectives. Start with what you’re trying to achieve, rather than the idea of digital and you’re much more likely to end up with the right solution – digital or not. Where digital is appropriate, there may be a platform already in existence you can tap into.
7. Listen – it’s all about open, accessible, transparent and two-way communication for millennials and gen Z. They want to know how they fit into the business strategy, challenge that strategy with new ideas and play a part in the future development of the company. Creating the right platforms to make that happen is key, one of which can be interactive events.
8. Build trust – with 46% of millennials relying on word of mouth as their most credible information source (before Google), trust is key. And with credibility of CEOs at an all-time low across all generations, it’s kind of critical across the board right now. Employees no longer want a filtered, polished version of their leaders – build trust by delivering real information in an authentic way.
9. Need for speed – millennials, and gen Z even more so, are used to instant response – whether it’s live chat customer service or same day Amazon deliveries. Create a corporate communication model that is responsive, dynamic and flexible to drive two-way engagement and capture great ideas.
10. Bring your strategy to life – it’s back to human nature again. If we feel it, we’re more likely to act on it. It’s vital you engage your people, both emotionally and rationally, so they have the mindset, knowledge and motivation to deliver. Bring your strategy to life through creative, disruptive communications that get remembered.