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The world has changed and change is gathering pace. For internal communicators, one of the biggest challenges is a changing workforce.

Rising retirement ages and the pensions crisis mean that employees are working longer, so ‘Baby Boomers’ will be working alongside those from ‘Generation X’ and even younger ‘Millennials’ for years to come.

The generation gap is as big – and more complicated – than it has ever been.

Different times need different solutions. Futurist and ‘thought-provocateur’ Dean Van Leeuwen (pictured right) will speak about rewriting the future of comms at IoIC Live in Brighton on Friday May 1, but first he speaks to February’s InsideOut – the FREE magazine for members of IoIC.

He poses questions like how do we communicate and put our messages across to the workforce, knowing that they are different and changing? And how do we go about doing it, knowing that we work differently and that the changes are increasing?

The founder of the TomorrowToday consultancy, Dean says: “The first thing is to acknowledge that your audience is diverse and that there is no single answer.

“People born in different eras are influenced by different events during their formative years, their early life will shape their world view,” he explains. “This has accelerated because of the pace of change over the past 50-60 years, with stuff like new technology and new ways of doing things. Generational gaps have never been bigger.

“Each generation acts as if they are communicating in different worlds. They expect different things from leaders and are motivated and inspired by different things. Each new generation wants to be communicated to in new and different ways.

“The astute person doing internal communication will understand there’s not a one-size-fits-all communication strategy any more.”

You can’t just send out emails or newsletters and expect to get the same response – but equally shifting all your comms to social media could leave behind a big chunk of your workforce.

“Different generations respond differently,” says Dean. “Step back and look at the driving forces of different generations. You need to understand why each generation is different and communication tools are key in different ways. Then develop your strategy from there.”

In February’s InsideOut, Dean explains how the team at TomorrowToday divides employees into three broad generation types and analyses how they react differently to different comms channels.

IoIC members can read more by logging in at the top right of this screen. You’ll then find InsideOut in ‘IoIC Knows’ – simply click on ‘Publications’ in the drop-down menu.

To book your place at IoIC Live click here
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