no matter what generation you were born into, it’s likely you want to find meaningful work that challenges and interests you and enables you to grow as a person. but for many millennials, and those in younger age demographics, authentic communication can be a challenge. it’s important to note that communication is one of the most highly prized soft skills in the workplace, and many fortune 500 companies echo this concept. so what can you do to improve your communication skills at work? shortened sentences in emails may come across as abrupt and be misconstrued. when you take time to meet with someone in person, you are more likely to make a lasting, meaningful connection.
listening mindfully and with respect shows that you care about the other person’s message. ask questions for clarification, paraphrase the other person’s statements, and at the end of the conversation, be sure to summarize your understanding of the issue. self-reflection can be a springboard for positive change and lead to more meaningful relationships. then be sure to take the necessary steps to consistently polish your communication style and how you present yourself to the world. one of the most important attributes hr directors look for in prospective employees is accountability. you cannot control what anyone else says or does, but you can control what you do and say.
yet many gen y employees, raised to believe that hard skills matter most, often fall short on soft skills, especially workplace communications and a social sense of business. without going negative, managers can help new hires focus on improving their soft skills from the get-go, as part of their employee onboarding. “all of our entry-level people are assigned a career manager or mentor,” says patrick o’rourke , director of talent acquisition and development at swc technology partners in oak brook, ill. “they sit down together the first week of work. and then they meet every two weeks.” the soft skills gaps most likely to trip up millennials include written and oral communications, social skills (other than social media), an ability to engage and motivate, business etiquette and professionalism. “a number of critical skills truly make people stand out,” says mike fenlon, us and global talent leader for pricewaterhousecoopers. “pair new hires up with a good mentor, someone who has communications skills you want the millennial to embody,” says randall.
“students need to focus on what the audience is, and the purpose of the presentation,” says matthew randall, executive director of the center for professional excellence at york college of pennsylvania. some millennials naturally excel at working with a wide range of folks, even across cultures and time zones. both manager and millennial new hires will benefit if feedback is given in the moment and in small doses, when the stakes are mostly low, but the learning opportunity is large. call it too much information — call it oversharing — by any name, it’s a tendency of some millennials that can easily run out of bounds in the workplace. “there’s a skill to not revealing too much about yourself,” says randall. millennials of a certain learning style can benefit by approaching new communications tasks with the aid of well-crafted templates. to advance the soft skills of millennials, consider bringing in an expert, particularly when multigenerational management skills are required.
but for many millennials, and those in younger age demographics, authentic communication can be a challenge. social media, texting, and other short form communication are partly to blame for this issue, often pulling people away from social settings and creating more isolation. how to help millennials fill the soft skills gap by: john rossheim start off right. communicate, and relate. mentor, born between , millennials came of age during the internet explosion. according to udemy’s 2018 millennials at work report, they want greater work schedule flexibility, prefer in-person workplace communication, and put a premium on healthcare benefits., communication preferences by generation, communication preferences by generation, skills millennials lack, skills millennials need, communication style of millennials. in fact, 39% of millennials admit to interacting more with their phones than the actual people in their lives. they have gotten so good at communicating through screens and haven\’t focused on honing their face-to-face communication skills.
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