When asked how people savvy they are, millennials will often say 65%. Their Human Resources Directors laugh and give millennials a 14%. Why do young adults have such awful people skills?
Data analysts (because this generation needs to be analyzed) attribute the lack of communication and interpersonal relations skills to the internet, video games, television, and texting. Well, thank Generation X for those innovations.
Baby Boomers, often workplace superiors, blame it on a lack of motivation, responsibility for ourselves, and our attitude of arrogance and entitlement. Once again, who raised us?
Now wasn't that a typical Millennial response? Blame someone else. As a Millennial myself, I can personally say I can't stand entitlement and arrogance. I hate hearing a peer say they won't respect their authority until their authority shows them respect first. More than anything, I hate watching two people sit down for dinner out after what apparently seems like a long, busy day only to pull out their smartphones and sit in silence.
A Baby Boomer's Perspective on Millennial Communication
We're told we're too arrogant and then that we lack confidence by shirking behind our devices. We're told that we lack motivation, a sense of responsibility, and ownership. We're told we quit what we start too often and show no commitment. We're told we're on our devices too often, yet if the Baby Boomers, who grew up with television, had the same smartphones and tablets we have today they would have the same level of communication skills as we do.
A Millennial's Perspective On Millennial Communication
Millennials are saying several things by not saying anything at all. We're saying we want to keep in touch with those we don't see in front of us every day and we want to keep in touch even more. We are saying we want to answer all work emails promptly because we're serious about our careers and moving up. We are constantly networking with people we don't meet face-to-face looking for more opportunities to learn and advance in our careers.
What are the possible solutions?
How To Improve Multigenerational Workplace Communication
1. When Baby Boomers and Generation X are unwilling to learn new technology trends, ask them to take a walk or get a cup of coffee with you. Be willing to adapt to their needs, and they may start adapting to yours.
2. When Baby Boomers and Generation X have adapted to new technology trends but still insist on making phone calls, answer or call back promptly. Sending an email or text will imply that you don't have time for them and ultimately rudeness.
3. When Baby Boomers and Generation X are openly using new technology trends but don't respond to you, you may be sharing too much on your social networks. Oversharing and gossiping (especially about the workplace) online will scare off more private generations. Build up trust by screening your conversations on social media and in emails.
4. When Baby Boomers and Generation X get irritated with any form of communication from you, you are likely offending them with slang and abbreviations they don't understand. Try talking more formally, watching your "like's" and "um's," and using explanations rather than common terms.