Today’s workplace is a collective of 4 or 5 generations working side by side. Communication isn’t always easy, Millennial’s are all grown up and a new generation is poised to enter the workplace. This group, roughly defined as anyone born between 1995 and 2010, already make up a staggering 25 percent of the U.S. population. I call them Gen. Z.
I recently had a phone conversation about this newer generation and more and wanted to share the highlights with you for your consideration.
I could feel Carmen clutching her phone on the other end of the line. Her voice was curt, the anger palatable and her confusion very real. She read my Linked In article on generations and reached out with an email that at first glance appeared to be a short novel. As a manager, her staff and other leaders were having trouble successfully navigating the 5 generations at her company.
I knew how to help her connect Millennials and Gen Z. I had the ability and knowledge to assist is creating a company culture of generational understanding, mentorship and better communications.
After readying her email, I replied- “Not a problem, I can help you. Let’s chat.” I sent her a few ideas/documents that would help her think differently and take action even if she didn’t want to talk.
The tone of her email suggested that she was reaching a “desperate measures faze” where employees could get written up, lectured or even fired! It was serious.
We spoke the next day.
Carmen- Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Scott. I need help. We have poor communications between generations and it is causing friction, anger and lowering our productivity. What’ve you got?
Me- My pleasure, Carmen. Your email pointed to the communications and I agree. And understanding, information and clear perspectives from each generation and you’ll gown connections and relationships between employees. I’m very confident that these steps will address your main pain points and improve productivity too.
Carmen- Perfect! When can you come out to see us? The sooner the better.
Me- There’s more.
Carmen- You’ve sold me. I’m in, Scott.
Me- Thanks, but I have a few more tips that I want to send you via email. They will help you put a bandage on things. This will benefit many and is easy to implement. I’ll add some mentoring ideas too.
Carmen- That’s great. Why are you doing this? I already said I want to bring you in
Me- Generation Z is young and open to your guidance. The will stay at a job longer and want to be mentored and guided. Millennial’s are a little older, better established and have the ‘different work perspective’ as you mentioned in your email. I want you to consider connecting these two generations now, today because they’re huge in numbers and speak a similar language.
Our conversation changed to gen X and Boomers. Of course, I had solutions and happily offered a few.
We spoke availability, presentation type and fees.
Carmen- By the way Scott, I’m a Millennial. I’m 33. I believe in what you said, but I can’t seem to get upper management and staff to come together. We’re stuck!
Me- Well, as you know, I’m a professional speaker and author. It’s my job to come and offer a fresh outsiders perspective, answer your pain points and offer up actionable solutions. Plus make sure we have fun along the way.
This is not difficult. And, once we begin to understand what’s getting in the way of our communication between generations or departments the sharing of information and productivity begin to grow. It’s a really cool thing to watch.
Carmen- You’ve given me a lot to work with already for free. Maybe I don’t need to bring you in after all (said laughing.)
Me- Half of what I do with clients is prepare them for the deliverables I’m going to bring. It makes my job easier because sometimes some work is done before I arrive. Folks are more open. Signs of improvement are visible. That’s a good thing.
But, you should still bring me in. You know why?
Carmen- Yes, I do. Because we’re not going to accomplish this without help.
Me- Yep. And, it’ll be fun too!
Carmen booked me for a full day for 2018.
Carmen recognized her strong company had generational issues that were getting in the way of workplace productivity. She reached out and I am grateful.
What issues do you need to address at work? Are your teams generationally challenged? Who are you going to reach out to for assistance? Is you leadership ready to embrace this new and powerful generation?
Scott Lesnick is a highly requested keynote and interactive trainer.
Learn more about Scott at http://www.scottlesniclk.com/