How are millennials different?

How communication skills training can benefit millennials

 

Few generations are having the same impact on the workforce as millennials. Also referred to as Generation Y, this group of people is now one of the largest the world over. For managers considering communication skills training, it’s important to have an idea of how these trends will shape their relationships with other employees.

One of the defining characteristics of the millennial generation is the fact that it’s the first group of people that came of age with technology. According to research from Goldman Sachs, millennials are much more likely to pursue digital forms of entertainment than their older counterparts. Put simply, old-school approaches won’t always have the same effect with these people.

Communicating with millennials

A unique generation demands its own specific communication techniques, ensuring managers and employees are on the same page as each other. McKinsey & Company investigated what it means to have a millennial workforce. As this generation continues to grow, it’s important that organisations know how to engage and retain these employees.

McKinsey & Company didn’t mince words when it described how managers should look after their millennials, advising them to “put communication on steroids”. Millennials expect two particular features of communication habits within a business: transparency and immediacy.

The organisation notes that this generation in particular has little tolerance for any apparent disconnects between upper management and the rest of a workforce. In light of this, McKinsey & Company notes that companies should ensure that communications happen in real time, are a two-way conversation and are followed up by immediate action.

Communication breakdown

Deloitte also conducted its own study on the unique aspects of the millennial employee, finding that any lapses in communication can have drastic impacts with regards to employee retention and engagement.

Not only is it important that managers are able to communicate effectively with this group, the type of information they convey is just as influential. Millennials are less concerned about the financial performance of a business than previous generations. Instead, younger employees want to work for an organisation that shares values with that of its employees.

For example, where business leaders may rank cost-efficiency above many other performance metrics, millennials are more concerned about advancing their individual skill sets and ensuring the business’s products and services have a positive effect on its customers.

Ultimately, communication with millennials doesn’t have to be a headache, as simply acknowledging their unique traits can be the difference between success and failure.


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