As flexibility becomes an important word incorporated into organisations, more people are working remotely and could be coming and going at different times. Apart from the “age” gap, this could make a big impact on communication and as a result, efficiency. Participating in team building activities particularly charitable ones that give back to the community, are a valuable way for a business’s team to come together, to share a common purpose, vision and values and, from an individual’s perspective, demonstrate strengths and sometimes identify weakness. Whether it be in your office, locally, regionally or interstate, team building activities can certainly make a difference.
At XL Events, we know that when it comes to communicating with team members, you’ll likely find that a ‘one size fits all’ approach simply won’t work. This means that you’ll need to pick team building activities or events that are flexible and relative to your target audiences – your differing team members. The most important outcome to focus on is collaboration, learning and most importantly understanding.
We know that different generations tend to have different preferences when it comes to communication. So, when we talk about bridging the communication gap, it’s a good idea to start by breaking down your target audience into distinct generations, including baby boomers, Gen X, and millennials.
In this article we’ll take a look at how you can use this knowledge to ensure your chosen team building event or activity is relevant to your target audience, regardless of their generation.
Millennials are often considered a tech-savvy generation, who rely heavily on electronics, internet, and social media to communicate. There is even an argument to say that this generation lacks the ability to fully connect in formal face-to-face interactions. However, on the other hand they have an underlying, empathetic desire to make the world a better place which is why XL Events charity team building events are so very popular – giving back to the community in so many different ways.
Nonetheless, millennials are a social bunch, even though they may communicate in a way that is different to past generations. When looking to communicate with millennials, XL Events has a few suggestions:
- Millennials are big users of mobile phone technology, and these devices are always on hand for everything from entertainment to education and business. Why not create excitement about the teambuilding activity via text? Use technology to celebrate success. Photos of fun, achievement, keep videos from the events for use later.
- Social media is a big part of life for millennials and is used as a source of current news and a way to maintain connections with others. Social media can also act as a platform for businesses to communicate with their clients. Why not create a hashtag or include a social media wall or group for team members to interact afterwards.
- While face-to-face contact is a big part of every teambuilding activity, it is not necessarily a first-choice communication strategy for many millennials. This is why we incorporate more “hands on” activities that cater for all personalities and age groups incorporating a good
GENERATION X (1965-1980)
Generation X or Gen X (for short) exists in between two of the most distinct generations, and this has often left them sidelined. This is a shame, as they are a link between the future and those now pushing retirement.
Gen X were the first to accept digital technology into everyday life. They are often considered to be more willing to accept and embrace new technology and electronic forms of communication than Baby Boomers, but without being reliant on it in the same way as Millennials.
When looking to communicate with Gen X, balance is key. The opportunity for FUN, face-to-face interaction at teambuilding activities, supported by social media, email and mobile communication strategies would be the way to go. And remember to celebrate the success, they haven’t generally grown up with this so it’s nice to be acknowledged.
BABY BOOMERS (1946-1964)
The Baby Boomer generation grew up seeing the introduction of a wide range of new technologies, though they are noted for their preference for formal methods of communication, including phone, email and face-to-face.
Despite available technology, it is important for staff to connect with the faces, the real people, behind your brand. After all people are the key. This is good news for businesses and Baby Boomers, as the opportunity for face-to-face contact is one of the key features of a teambuilding event or activity. The beauty of our events is that we have plenty of knowledgeable staff present who are skilled at engaging and connecting with team members to ensure everyone is receiving the most from the events. We don’t simply put some technology in your hand and leave you to work it all out yourself in the hope that teams will coordinate – we understand that’s why you are hosting the team building event in the first place, to bridge that gap of communication. We know for a fact desired outcomes will not be achieved in these scenarios.
When it comes to Baby Boomers, make sure to stay clear of generational stereotypes. People often assume that their age means poor tech skills and a reluctance to accept progress. This is certainly not always the case, and many are happy to embrace the way communication is changing.
At XL Events, we will work with you to create a memorable, and charitable team building event if you wish, team building activity or conference filler, that will exceed expectations and deliver positive results. If you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to connect with us via email at [email protected] or give our office a call on 1300 733 385.