My 23 year old nephew Sam is through hiking the
Last week I facilitated training programs on business communications for two distinct groups. Each day included a mix of generations, work experience and technical savvy. I heard more than one story about the co-worker in the next cube choosing email over face to face conversation and the common lament about grammar and punctuation skills.
About a month ago I broke down and started texting my kids in situations when they may not be able to hear the phone ring or get a message in time. After I typed “Grt run in
Mobile messaging from the wilderness makes perfect sense to a twenty something who has used the web to routinely keep up with the world and individual’s whereabouts and activities. The new tools, technologies and on line communities provide fabulous forums for networking and connections for anyone who can navigate a keyboard.
But where does all of this fit into workplace communications? When four generations are working side by side does everyone have to adopt the latest techniques or stumble through miscues? I think there’s a happy medium organizations can reach to adopt 21st century innovations and maintain a professional profile. It starts with basic standards and the reinforcement that all electronic data that moves through the company server is recoverable and represents the company.
Each side of the age divide does not need to throw up their hands and describe the other as a clueless newbie or dinosaur. Bring a team together that includes tech savvy members, along with those from the full range of years in the workforce, to produce a policy that is more likely to be effective. Ban BlackBerry’s and laptops from the in-person discussion and this group will have the added benefit of creating dialog and gaining knowledge and experience from the variety of perspectives. There’s value in all of the views, from a 3/4 office wall to the top of a mountain.