Generational communication preferences are important in the workplace as well as in marketing. There are currently four generations in the workplace: Traditionalists (15% of work force); Baby Boomers (50%); Gen X (30%) and Gen Y (5%). Traditionalists are hard workers whose lack of technical knowledge is more than offset by their work ethic and personal values. They tend not to offer opinions unless asked and prefer a face-to-face conversation.
Of all the generations, Baby Boomers are the most accepting of change. Though they have mastered technology, they prefer phone calls and email. Boomers read body language well and like written backup plans. They are workaholics and expect co-workers to be, too.
Gen Xers love technology and new gadgets. Communication is short and pointed, often using email. Gen Xers like feedback from supervisors and offer it in return, and may become offended if not kept informed. For a Gen Xer, part of each day includes communicating with family and friends.
Gen Y loves technology even more than Gen X and will play with everything. Email and texting is short and quick, and they may use mobile phone apps to communicate. They expect work to be fun and flexible. Laughter is essential to this group – stern talking is not well accepted. Gen Y also expects everyone to be on the same level.