Are you a “boomer” frustrated with how to communicate with your millennial employees? Or maybe it’s the other way around? You may think these are just annoyances that are just part of the workplace, but that’s not the case, according to Marilyn Moats Kennedy of Career Strategies and author of Office Politics: Seizing Power/Wielding Clout. Kennedy will serve as the keynote speaker on March 16 during Glass Expo Midwest/Fenestration Day being held in Schaumburg, Ill.

This session will educate attendees regarding the five age groups in the workplace, their traditional values and their differing views on the role of managers, employer/employee loyalty, etc. Learn ways of communicating that deliver the same message in ways that each group understands and can respond. And be sure to capitalize on this chance to help cultivate the employees you have by understanding what motivates them. DWM caught up with Kennedy to gain a glimpse into what she will share with attendees.

DWM: Why is it is so important to understand the differences among employees in the workplace?

Kennedy: Because if you don’t understand them people unnecessarily irritate each other. With a little explanation, they can work together very well. This is even more important now because we’re asking people to do so much more, so why not pave the way for smooth working relationships?

DWM: How can this information help managers improve employee relations and their businesses?

Kennedy: What we want is for people to do their best work as quickly as possible. They will work better together and will stop with the petty stuff that makes people crazy. Here’s an example: If you say to a younger person, “Can you do this task if it’s not too much trouble?,” they will think they have a choice and may say no (though a boomer would never dream of doing this). You can’t hint with the younger people; you have to be direct. If you do this, their feelings won’t be hurt—they’ll appreciate you being direct.

Many people provide inadequate explanations. Think about the fact that two-thirds of college graduates have never worked for money. If you knew these people have never worked for money before, you would have a whole different way of talking to them. You would fill in the background for them because you know they don’t have a clue.

What I’m trying to get people to see is there are no bad guys—there is no good versus evil. What there is is a series of misunderstandings that can be prevented.

DWM: What do you usually hear from people who leave your seminars? How does it help them in their businesses?

They always say, “I never knew that.” That’s why I’m teaching this stuff. I work with companies who don’t know how to communicate cross-generationally. I try to help them understand the values of employees of all ages. It’s not profound stuff, but these issues are especially a problem for older managers who think younger employees are rebellious. This is not a rebellious generation: that’s not the point and it’s important to know that.

Moats’ seminar is included in your registration for Glass Expo Midwest™/Fenestration Day, which will be held March 16 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center in Schaumburg, Ill.

CLICK HERE for more information about Fenestration Day.

CLICK HERE to register for the event.

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