Generational differences have long been an important aspect of workplace diversity, and this is even more true now than even in the recent past. With the majority of the modern workforce consisting of members of four distinct generations – many of whom work in companies with outdated policies and ways of doing business established by previous generations – effective cross-generational workplace communication is an important key to success.
Perfecting the art cross-generational communication in the workplace has to start with knowledge of what key generational differences are and why, and insight into how each generation – and the individuals within it – add value. This requires getting to know key differences among generations, including their formative influences, characteristics and workplace behaviors, as well as how to manage outside your own generation.
When people from different generations work side-by-side in the workplace, as they do every day, this poses unique workplace challenges, but it also sets the stage for tremendous opportunity as well. While the different generations don’t always see ‘eye-to-eye,’ bridging the generational divide can lead to greater innovation, productivity, effectiveness and – ultimately – competitive advantage. That’s the power that can come from leveraging the power and benefits of generational diversity.
Mary Gormandy White is managing director of MTI Business Solutions, a leading Gulf Coast-based corporate training/talent development firm working with clients throughout the United States. She specializes in training and consulting services related to HR, management, leadership, communication, team building, Everything DiSC, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, Six Sigma and more. Mary holds graduate and undergraduate degrees in Communication. Her certifications include Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) and Everything DiSC Certified Trainer/Accredited Workplace Facilitator. Mary’s professional background includes extensive experience in management, HR, instructional design and communication. She is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences and association meetings nationwide.