“The way we communicate is different than upper management.”
Tim described how millennials are entering the workforce with a new set of communications skills that the Baby Boomers just don’t understand. At first, I took the statement personally. I mean, this boomer doesn’t need some new-hire to teach me how to communicate! Right?
Just as I was about to write him off, though, Tim offered another insight.
“Millennials can help Gen-Xers and Boomers communicate, and Gen-Xers and Boomers can help ‘onboard’ Millennials.
“Onboard?” I thought. “What does that mean?”
And then it hit me. Tim was describing the experience-gap between the groups. Although millennials are natural collaborators who can teach the “me” generation something about communication, they are still green when it comes to the ways of business. In order for businesses to succeed in the future, Tim simply pointed out that these groups will need to learn from one another.
This experience-gap reared its ugly head during last week’s Dominos Pizza fiasco, when two millennial employees collaborated swimmingly to create a sickening video. Unfortunately, their youthful inexperience blinded them from the fact that the food preparation business is all about trust, which the young communicators napalmed in the amount of time it took to upload their video to YouTube.
Dominos responded by releasing its own video response, a two minute video of Dominos’ President, Patrick Doyle, describing the seriousness by which the company was taking the situation. Although the corporate video contained all the right words, it fell flat because some public relations genius puppet-stringed Mr. Doyle’s performance, having him look off-camera to read a prepared speech.
ATTENTION PUBLIC RELATIONS PROFESSIONALS OF THE WORLD. Executives responding to a crisis don’t need no stinkin’ teleprompters. Nobody cares whether it comes off as polished or not. All we care about is that the message is authentic and real.
Ironically, the millennial employees actually produced a “better” video than upper management. Think about it. Rather than reading from a script, they looked directly into the camera and clearly communicated their stomach-turning message.
Tim Young was correct. Millennials and Boomers do have a lot to learn from one another.
Photo Credit: Photo Mojo