This article was originally featured on Inc.com and has been reposted here with permission from the author.
Today’s workplace is a potential landmine for communications disasters, which can lead to big problems for business owners. Two primary reasons are generational challenges and technology challenges.
For the first time in history, we have 5 generations working alongside of one another, with employees ranging from their early 20’s to their 70’s or older. It’s not surprising that employees have conflicting communications expectations and behaviors. Anne Loehr, Founder & CEO of Engage Every Age, contrasts the Millennials (born 1981-2001), Generation Xers (born 1965-1980), and Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964).
Technology challenges that create a Pandora’s box of headaches for business leaders include:
- Mobility. Everyone is online everywhere, on their own devices.
- Consumerization of technology. Technologies that were once reserved for consumers are now proliferating the workplace which presents learning & security challenges, and creates generational divides.
- Increasingly complex social media landscape. Companies need a full time social media team to understand and have a presence on all of the required platforms, and to use them strategically for growth & brand awareness.
- Transparency of communications, with no filters. Anyone can say anything positive or negative anytime, anywhere; we are in the Yelp age of feedback.
A major pitfall of these challenges is that the Rules of Engagement regarding online office communication are still being written.
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