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Millennial Communication

More and more millennials are filling the workplace and influencing the way we work and communicate. It benefits both businesses and workers to take a look at millennial communication habits and preferences as these may soon become the new norm within the workplace.

Phone Calls
What was once the most popular form of communication is now slowly fading away thanks to convenient and advanced technology. As many of us know, most people dislike actually talking on the phone, especially millennials. Growing up with instant messaging, email, and other forms of written communication made them accustomed to these modes rather than speaking on the telephone. When you think about it, those types of communication are more instantaneous and allow you to think through your thoughts and choose your words wisely. Whereas phone calls can be seen as an interruption to your day, emails and texts may be opened and read at the recipient’s leisure, again, adding to their convenience.

Text Messages
There are several advantages to text messaging. They are instant, mobile, and can be well thought-out messages, rather than immediate reactions as in phone calls or in-person conversations. Also, many find the mass-messaging options helpful, whether for business or personal use. For businesses, they can reach all employees at once, for business-related or emergency matters, as texts are read more immediately than emails.

Despite text messages being more immediate and convenient, email remains a popular method of communication among millennials. This may be due to their relaxed nature, along with the unlimited space emails offer (emails offering formatting features without the restriction of a character limit). While most still expect responses to emails in a timely fashion, it is widely understood that emails are less urgent (unless otherwise noted) and likely not to be checked on nights and weekends.

Informal Communication
Millennial influence is also making the workplace less formal. Flexible hours, casual environments, relaxed dress codes, and informal communication are among the many ways the workplace is changing. With these changes come more friendly and familiar interactions with coworkers, leading to a closer, more unified team.

After reviewing these concepts, what can we take away?

  • We must adjust to new standards. These communication trends will soon take over and rather than trying to resist the change, we should embrace and familiarize ourselves with them.
  • Be aware of the advantages and disadvantages. There are still plenty of options out there, so it would behoove us to understand the pros and cons of them and know which works best for different situations.
  • Communicate along generational lines. While more millennials are joining the workforce, they are not the entirety of it. Adjust your communication style according to your audience. For example, be mindful that the older generation is more accustomed to formal communications.

Despite the new communication trends, the fundamentals remain the same. Active listening and clear communication is still as important as it has ever been, it simply needs to be properly applied to the mode of communication you choose.

Have you seen a change in the way you communicate and interact within your workplace? What do you predict for the future of communications? Share with us on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

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