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Generational Communication Differences Around the Globe. Jan Thibodeau, ABC Chair, Research Foundation. Study Overview AHAs and SO WHATs Engagement Importance & Effectiveness of Employer Communication Channel Preferences Ratings of Employer Communications

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Generational Communication Differences Around the Globe

Jan Thibodeau, ABC

Chair, Research Foundation


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Study Overview

AHAs and SO WHATs

Engagement

Importance & Effectiveness of Employer Communication

Channel Preferences

Ratings of Employer Communications

NOW WHAT? - Roundtable Discussions

Sharing

Agenda


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Study Overview

  • Commissioned by the IABC Research Foundation

  • Sponsored by Deloitte Consulting LLP

  • Conducted by Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc.

  • Preliminary report of findings

  • Final report and publication due later this year


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Study Purpose

  • Compare two age cohorts in today’s global workforce to understand preferences, needs, habits and attitudes regarding workplace communications

    • Ages 20-26 (Generation Y or Millennials in the US)

    • Ages 50-59 (Baby Boomers in the US)


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Online survey

Six countries: Brazil, Canada, China, India, United Kingdom, United States

600 participants: 50 of each age cohort in each country

March 17 – April 17, 2008

English or native language (Portuguese, French, Mandarin or Hindi)

Study Design


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What differences exist in how each age cohort thinks about their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?

How are the age cohorts different in three job loyalty measures:

overall job satisfaction

intention to remain with current employer

willingness to recommend employer to others?

Engagement


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Engagement their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?

  • Younger: more positive about most factors, especially opportunities to learn and grow

    • Younger: 72% strongly agree or agree

    • Older: 54% strongly agree or agree

  • Both age cohorts: being proud to work for an employer is one of two leading drivers of overall satisfaction

  • Other driver

    • Younger: feeling a sense of belonging

    • Older: trusting leaders to consider employees’ best interests

  • Younger group was more positive about being proud to work for their employer than the older group (63% vs. 54%)

  • Younger group was more likely to be willing to recommend their employer to a job seeker (86% vs. 75%)


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Engagement Implications their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?

  • Are older workers aware of development opportunities in your organization?

  • Are both younger and older workers proud to work for your organization?

    • Fulfills social responsibilities

    • Inspires trust in leadership

    • Provides learning and development opportunities

  • Is your organization’s reputation a factor in attracting and retaining employees?


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Importance & Effectiveness their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?of Employer Communication

  • What are the most important types of communication for each age cohort?

  • How effectively are employers performing in each type of communication?

  • Where are the biggest gaps between communication importance and effectiveness for each age cohort?


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Importance & Effectiveness their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?of Employer Communication

  • Both groups: most important types of employer communications

    • Performance recognition

    • Feedback about job performance

    • Opportunities to interact with fellow employees

  • Younger group: place more value on informal communication and fun ways to build teamwork

  • Older group: place more value on official/formal sources of information

    • Explanation of organizational goals and policies

    • How company is doing


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Importance & Effectiveness Implications their job, their benefits and work environment and their organization’s management?

  • How do your organization’s communication strategies facilitate:

    • Performance recognition

    • Feedback about job performance

    • Opportunities to interact with fellow employees

  • What communication programs/strategies are in place to foster informal communication and fun ways to build teamwork?

  • How does your organization communicate

    • Organizational goals and policies

    • How company is doing


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What are the communication channel preferences for receiving information about

Benefits

Company goals & performance

Company events

Business/industry news

Project/team updates

And for…

Interacting w/co-workers

Having routine exchanges w/supervisor

Channel Preferences


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Channel Preferences information about

  • Channel preferences vary by type of communication

    • No sweeping channel preferences that fit each age group

  • Both age groups: preference for in-person interaction with co-workers to build working relationships

  • Younger, high users of technologyare more likely to see electronic messaging (e-mail, instant or text messaging) as an effectiveway to build relationships


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Channel Preferences Implications information about

  • How do you determine which channels to use when communicating various types of information?

    • Are you using multiple channels?

  • What communication practices do you have in place to foster in-person interaction with co-workers to build working relationships?

    • Younger users – are there opportunities for e-messaging and is it accepted cultural practice?


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Ratings of Employer Communications information about

  • How do the age cohorts rate employer communications to employees for their:

    • credibility

    • relevance

    • understandability

    • timeliness

    • explanations of the information’s importance


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Ratings of Employer Communications information about

  • Both age groups: majority gave positive ratings for all five attributes tested

  • Older age group: lower ratings than younger on credibility

    • Older age group werethree times more likely to rate employer’s communications as not credible

      • Older workers with no management or supervisory role were the most critical

      • Gap between age groups was greatest in public sector and those in consumer/industrial products


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Ratings Implications information about

  • How are you measuring the communications credibility factor in your organization?

  • How does your organization ensure that the communication is credible, especially for older, non-supervisory workers?


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Review of Key Findings information about

  • Both age groups:

    • Engagement: Being proud to work for an employer is one of two leading drivers of overall satisfaction

    • Channels: Preference for in-person interaction with co-workers to build working relationships

  • Younger group:

    • Communication Importance & Effectiveness: Places more value on informal communication and fun ways to build teamwork

    • Channels: Is more likely to use electronic messaging as an effective way to build relationships (high technology users)

  • Older group:

    • Communication Importance & Effectiveness: Places more value on official/formal sources of information

    • Ratings of Communication: Lower ratings on communication credibility


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What do these findings mean to communications in your workplace?

What might you continue, start or stop doing?

What might you do differently?

Now What?


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Final Report workplace?

  • Lots more details for each of the four areas

  • Findings by

    • Geographical location

    • Industry

    • High and low technology users

  • Watch for the research later this year!