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5 traps to avoid when closing the generation gap in communications

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5 traps to avoid-generational divide- blog header

Group Consulting Practice Director: Communications

Wayne Speechly           Group Consulting Practice Director: Communications

When it comes to segmenting the personas of different generations, we have a clear definition of the Baby Boomers, Generation Xs, and Millennials. We understand their values, cultures, and characteristics. What we sometimes forget is that these groups don’t exist in separate, inviolate silos. They’re working side by side within your organisation. They’re your customers today and the future talent your business needs tomorrow.

This diverse group of people, all with seemingly disparate needs, creates a challenge for many businesses. How do your people work individually and in teams? Are they adopting to new technologies? Do you have a communications and collaboration strategy that supports your business ambitions?

We look at the five most common traps business falls into when it comes to communications and collaboration:

Trap #1: Moving too fast, too soon. Are you investing in expensive new technologies without thinking how they will match your current and future business needs? How much strategic research and development is aligned to what users need? You need to make purposeful investments that are relevant to your business and that translate into better IT returns.

Trap #2: Taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Do your people have access to communications tools they’re familiar with — and that allow them to do their work? In a competitive and increasingly digital business world, you can’t invest in technology for technology’s sake. You have to leverage your existing technology, and look at new investments, through the lens of these two criteria.

Trap #3: Ignoring the work culture of natives and immigrants. Do you expect Millennials to adopt to traditional platforms, like email, when they’re more fluent in social channels? On the other hand do Gen Xs or Baby Boomers need more time to adjust to new technologies? The generational continuum extends throughout your organisation — and your strategy needs to support this diversity.

Trap #4: Thinking inside the castle walls. How do you communicate and collaborate with people outside your organisation — customers, partners, and suppliers? You have to make sure that your business responds to in a way that meets the preference and expectations of stakeholders outside your business.

Trap #5: Taking a short term view of ongoing disruption. Do you have deployment models that will give you agility, scale, flexibility — now and in the future? How do you make sure your people are adopting and using new communications and collaboration technology effectively? The one thing we can be sure of is that the technology gap between Millennials and the next generation will be even wider, and that digital technology is redefining the world of business every day. You need to have a long-term roadmap to stay ahead of your competitors.

With the right investments and independent expertise, you can ensure you meet the needs of the different generations in the workplace. The right communications and collaboration tools, run on the best platform, can help your enterprise be more competitive, relevant, and productive.

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