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The Next Generation | North Star Food & Beverage

How to Communicate With the Next Generation of the Workforce

teens on phoneWhen I wrote the original WAVES For Teenage Workforce Success book in 2008, I wrote briefly about how employers should engage this workforce through social media... however, I don't think that was the term for it then.

The only platform mentioned for employers to consideration was MySpace. Remember that? And that was only 6 years ago.

When the 2nd edition was published just a couple of years later in 2010, I had to delete any mention of MySpace and replace it with Facebook. Certainly by then there were more employers using this platform as their first steps into this new thing called social media. I had worked with dozens of employers of high school and college age employees that were finding success in communicating with their workforce this way. In fact many were amazed that non responsive employees prior, were now fully engaged, and contributing at work in ways that the employer didn't think possible! They were speaking their language.

As Facebook matured and was fully being utilized by employers and employees alike, many of the next generation employees jumped ship to Instagram. OK fine… we employers can do that too.

Now I read that the #3 most popular social media platform for this age group... and growing fast... is Snapchat. No doubt it will likely bump Facebook off the list of being practical for the younger workforce.

What's next? I don't know, but for sure, attempting to continue to engage young staff in this manner is necessary... and a moving target.

One thing I am certain of in today's world… it is just as important HOW you communicate, as WHAT you communicate. Necessary information that is shared means nothing, if it isn't being heard, retained and acted on.

If you are not fully using social media and "all things digital" as a strategy to communicate, educate and engage your workforce, you are not being as effective as you can be.

Employee websites are a necessity. Why?… because they are accessible "365 - 24/7". And that's the time frame that the next generation of employees live in. Digitize all of your written materials and have them on your website. Create your own short training films… and place them on your website. Be prepared to text vital information to your employee group. Put your work schedules online. Use video boards to share todays updates. The list goes on and on of ways to communicate for success with today's teens and young adult employees.

Those strategies and other solutions will begin to get you "heard" in a very crowded world of information.

Even with my belief of the necessity of social media and digital communications at work, I am certain, that it is becoming more important to not be solely "high tech", but to prioritize your "high touch" opportunities. Face to face relationship building is growing as the biggest motivator of all.

I'll say more about that in the future, and would look forward to your feedback and comments.

How do you "communicate for success" with the next generation of the workforce?

About The Author

ken whitingKen Whiting is an amusement park and attractions food and beverage operator, and industry consultant for improvements in F&B, retail and workforce productivity. Reach out with any questions or comments you may have at: