Which generation is called screenager

Communicate with your employees in the right way

Communicate with different employees

The last of the baby boomers are almost retiring as Generation Z storms the job market. This means that there are four generations working in today's companies: the still working baby boomers and generations X, Y (millennials) and Z. Due to different economic times and technological developments, each of these generations grew up in a unique climate. In this way, over the decades, society has created generations that are very different from one another. How can you best address these generations within a company? How do you reach and motivate these people who have grown up in generations that are far apart in terms of time and development? Read all about it on this blog.


Communication can be learned

Communication is key; this is well known. In order to know the best way to communicate with your co-workers, it is important that you know who you are talking to. What you communicate must inspire action. The information transfer does not have to be complete and certainly not lengthy.

A TrainTool study conducted among employees shows that 45 percent believe that their supervisor is not communicating well. The biggest stumbling blocks are: insufficiently informed, unclear what is expected, lack of attention and availability and lack of appreciation.

Good communication is clear, effective and goal-oriented. Flexibility is important for good communication. By this we mean: Be flexible in communication. Adapt them to your counterpart. Please check: What is my goal?

  • What is the other's goal?
  • What is important in this communication for me and the other?
  • What are my expectations and what are the other's expectations?

"The art of communication is the language of leadership" - James Humes

Vote. That is the magic word of good communication. Do you lead a team made up of people from different generations? Then communication is an even bigger challenge. To make your work easier, we have listed the following four generations. For each generation you will find their characteristics, wishes and needs in terms of communication.


Baby boomers

The baby boomers were born roughly between 1945 and 1960. A large proportion of them are already retired, but here and there some baby boomers are still at work. Obviously, the baby boomers grew up before the digital age. Their attention span is significantly longer than that of Generation Z. A longer text is not a problem for them, as long as it is logical and relevant. This generation is fighting for what they believe they deserve. Think of a good pension, good care and freedom of choice. It is often said that people over 50 are not technically savvy enough to use modern means of communication. That is a big mistake. About 60 percent of baby boomers use social media.

Practical take-away

  • Communicate with baby boomers clearly and without too many abbreviations.
  • Provide an overview without leaving out important details in your communication. Don't forget to mention where you can find other important information.
  • Educate them and trust that you are old and wise enough to act on your own. After all, they are too.


Generation X

The successors to the Baby Boomers, members of Generation X, were born between 1961 and 1981. This generation experienced massive youth unemployment, but the standard of living of this generation also increased. In addition to a good salary, this generation attaches great importance to development opportunities and meaning in the workplace. The work-life balance is important to them. It is easy for this generation to adapt to new technical devices.

Gen X is said to be direct, open, and concrete. Gen X members are at home in digital work. You don't like time-consuming meetings, but rather enjoy short meetings, preferably digitally.

Practical take-away

  • Respond to the direct and open character of this generation by communicating transparently.
  • Make sure that you communicate in good time and always keep your employees informed about the processes in the company.
  • The generation doesn't believe in lengthy meetings. Communicate what is necessary in short meetings or plan a meeting that takes place digitally.

Generation Y

Generation Y or the millennials. The children of the baby boomers. People born in 1982-2001 belong to this generation. Generation Y: A selection from the names for this generation are: Screenagers, Generation backseat, the media generation. You were involved in the digital revolution. In the world of work, members of this generation are group-oriented and not averse to working together. In her opinion, work also has a social aspect. The millennials are absolutely tech-savvy and don't hesitate to use innovative technology.

Practical take-away

  • In addition to exchanging work-related information, think about exchanging things beyond work, such as having a beer with colleagues after work.
  • Encourage collaboration through communication. For example, give certain employees the responsibility for a task and let them carry it out independently.

Generation Z

Were you born in 1995 or later? Then listen to Generation Z. Gen Z is growing up in a 24/7 information society and is a specialist in finding and filtering information. The downside of this flood of information is the short arc of tension in which it arises. Information is screened, filtered, briefly read and further "swiped" by this generation. Gen-Z members are also called "digital natives" by older generations because they were raised with a smartphone in their hands. This generation is looking for space for personal values ​​and interests in the workplace. Connectedness in the workplace is important to them. This generation is above all a generation with its own vision. You don't need a detailed explanation, but you want to understand what the goal is and what your contribution is to it.

But that doesn't mean that Gen-Z prefers to communicate digitally. This is shown by a study on Generation Z and their impact on the workplace, published by 8 × 8, a communications specialist. Gen Z attaches great importance to face-to-face communication and meaningful communication. A quarter of them prefer personal contact. This is a big difference from the previous generation, Generation Y, who almost half believe personal contact is becoming less important in the workplace. Another important shift between these generations is the preference for means of communication. While Generation Y mainly opts for means that save time, Gen Z chooses the means that best serve the desired end.

Handy takeaway

  • Make sure there is a personal element in communicating with the youngest generation. Avoid copy-paste messages.
  • This generation is often enough for half a word. Communicate to the point.

Note that communication is not a single lane highway (top-down communication), but that there is also room for bottom-up ideas.

Reach different generations through one platform

A practical way to effectively reach different generations is to use an Enterprise Social Network (ESN). In short, an ESN means social media for internal communication. This form of communication involves multiple channels and receivers (instead of just communicating from top to bottom). Messages are created and information shared together. This breaks the formal hierarchy in your company, as everyone can provide input and every person in the company can be reached at the push of a button.