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Intergenerational Communication: Overcoming 1 of 3 Barriers to Workplace Success

Intergenerational communication is one barrier to workplace success. Companies continue to struggle with the rising tide of under-40 professionals.
Intergenerational communication is one barrier to workplace success. Companies continue to struggle with the rising tide of under-40 professionals.

Young professionals (under 40) make up nearly half of the workforce. That means communication between young professionals and experienced professionals is essential for workplace success. Intergenerational communication joins first and second languages and accessibility for those with hearing and visual impairments as three barriers to effective communication for technical professionals.


Some Thoughts on Intergenerational Communication

Here are a few thoughts on intergenerational communication from my recent interview on The YoPro Know Podcast.

On Using Social Media

Companies have a general awkwardness with social media and how to reach the younger generations. On the one hand, companies know to try. On the other hand, the HR people and some of the technical managers are really bad at it.

Companies should do a gap analysis on reaching young professionals. There are inadvertent things companies do that really cause them to stumble inadvertently. Most companies do too much of a cookie-cutter approach to recruiting and retention.


On Favorite Technical Tools

Microsoft Excel is the number one business software in the world. And Excel can do everything that PowerPoint can in terms of visual presentations. Microsoft Excel is the backbone for universal communication between all workforce generations.

There are more technical tools now, too. For example, the AI tool Mid-Journy is one in which I do a lot of my own graphics. It's a large language model that does phenomenal, quick work. Younger generations expect the experienced generations to embrace these tools and communicate with them.

On Existing Communication Gaps

There is a lot of talk about the younger generations coming to communicate in ways embraced by the experienced generations. That may have been the case in the past. Now, I don't see it purely as one way or another. Certain aspects like technology and workplace practices like working from home are emerging quickly. There needs to be a meeting in the middle if businesses (and their technical professionals) are going to be successful.


On Aging Workforce

Companies are still struggling to attract talent. The experienced generations are coming off the hopper. The gap for many of my organizations is in the technically trained areas where people have to have certifications and licenses. Companies are not seeing as many young professionals get certified or trained as they did 10, 20, or 30 years ago. That means the experienced generations are going to stay around longer. The potential for intergenerational communication challenges also is not going away.


On Hybrid Workshops

The virtual platform training is being less stressed these days as the workforce is now back in person. The shift has meant that hybrid formats have overtaken virtual meeting formats. Hybrid means we still need virtual platform training in Teams, Zoom, Skype, Slack, Discord, and Circle. The fact that younger generations use different virtual platforms means that pressure to be trained in more platforms will increase. Hybrid formats are the toughest to keep everyone involved to the same degree.

The YoPro Know Podcast

The YoPro Know podcasts contain additional insights into intergeneration communication.

My full podcast can also be found on YouTube.


A Useful Resource: The State of Young Professionals 2023

Participate in The YoPro Know 2024 Young Professionals Survey!
Participate in The YoPro Know 2024 Young Professionals Survey!

The YoPro Know has communicated what young professionals need to be successful in the workplace. After interviews with thousands of young professionals, this report brings you specific data relevant to the modern workforce. From AI and growth opportunities to what type of communication young professionals prefer, gaining access to this report can help take recruiting and retention at your business to the next level. 


Please Complete the Young Professionals 2024 Survey

The YoPro Know strives to help businesses bridge intergenerational gaps and understand the next generation through data-driven solutions. Their 2024 YPK Survey is now live!


Young professionals, please take this survey and help shape the future of intergenerational communication in the workplace. Company leaders, please share this survey with your young professional team members and help continue to shape the next generation of leaders. The results will be shared in the 2024 report.



Communicating with FINESSE is a not-for-profit community of technical professionals dedicated to being highly effective communicators and facilitators. Learn more about our publications, webinars, and workshops. Join the community for free.


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