How to Communicate in a Multi-Generational Workforce

Best Practices for Millennials by Millennials

Solveig Raftery, The Firm Public Relations & Marketing,

The journey to understand the millennial generation is as vast and arduous as the opinions about them. However, Millennials are now the largest living generation in the U.S. and represent the largest generation in the U.S. labor force. It’s safe to say that if you haven’t worked with a Millennial, it’s only a matter of time before you do.

According to Pew Research Center, Millennials are defined as those born after 1980 and the first generation to come of age in the new millennium. As an agency owner, I employ both “younger” and “older” Millennials. Each of the employees have developed best practices for effectively communicating in a multi-generational workplace.

I asked them to share examples of what they do to connect with clients and colleagues born to different generations.

A senior staff member, age 30, who works with many clients that are Baby Boomers, said:

“In many instances, email is not the preferred means of communication so I just pick up the phone and call. It’s quick, easy and provides the opportunity for me to get to know clients on a personal level. Each generation is powerful in its own way – we can learn from one another. I view our differences as learning experiences, not obstacles”

Another employee, age 22, explained that he works to find ways to help clients communicate across different platforms.

“Every client has goals. I act as a translator of sorts, and I take one client’s goals and find platforms that allow me to communicate those goals to other generations. We all speak the same language but each generation has a different “dialect” if you will. I believe that finding ways to share a singular message to multiple audiences with different perspectives is key.”

One 28-year-old senior level employee touched on building trust to ensure productive work relationships:

“It’s important to understand the labels attached to Millennials and confront them head on. That means going above and beyond to prove you’re reliable. Remember that actions speak louder than words. Read up on fundamental generational differences and take time to reflect on how they affect communication. Learn about the evolution of technology (the world did just fine without the internet – they had fax machines – Google it). Never leave the office before your boss. Remember that if you’re on time you’re actually late. And above all, be patient and work hard.”

These conversations have opened my mind to the idea that perhaps the millennial generation is working just as hard to understand us, as we are them.


About Solveig Raftery: Specializing in travel and tourism, healthcare, retail and luxury, The Firm Public Relations & Marketing derives its take-charge personality, quirky sense of humor and boundless energy from its President and CEO (and PRCG co-founder) Solveig Raftery. She is intimately involved in devising strategy and developing creative ideas for her company’s clients, working closely with her handpicked executive team to develop inspired and successful public relations campaigns. The Firm’s unrivaled and occasionally sugar-fueled work ethic produces award-winning results. Yes, award-winning. From the Public Relations Society of America, Las Vegas Business Press, Women in Communications, Electronic Media Awards, and more– most recently, three 2017 Hermes Creative Awards, including a platinum award – the competition’s highest honor – for publicizing the grand opening of a North American headquarters for a major gaming manufacturer; and gold awards for its PR efforts related to a New Year’s Eve 5K and on another client’s products and partnerships associated with the Global Gaming Expo. Their passion for the world of business and the art of public relations is evident in everything they do. That’s the spirit of The Firm: strategic thinking, remarkable results.

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