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Communicating in the Modern Workplace

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How Millennials and Their Managers Compare

The job skills gap doesn’t necessarily mean employees aren’t grasping new software or can’t complete a new technical task. More often it refers to soft skills: communication, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. Learn what managers and millennials (those born between 1980 and the early 2000s) expect and deliver in today’s workforce.

What are today’s employers looking for?

  • 73 percent of business leaders feel soft skills are more important than job-specific skills.
  • 44 percent of top execs say soft skills are the biggest part of the U S skill gap.

Prepare for Collaboration: There’s a New Generation of Employees

  • In 2014, 36 percent of workers were millennials with an estimate of nearly 28 percent increase by 2020 when millennials will make up 46 percent.
  • 53 percent of millennials feel a mentoring relationship with their manager would improve their value and productivity.
  • 80 percent of millennials would prefer real-time feedback over traditional performance reviews.

The Current State of Strategic Communication

  • 39 percent of surveyed employees worldwide say people in their organization don’t collaborate enough.
  • Nearly three of four employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important.”
  • 27 percent of employees get communication training — and only about that amount are confident in their communication role at work.
  • 18 percent get communication evaluation at performance reviews.

Social Networks as Workplace Communication Tools

  • In 2005, 9 percent of people ages 18-29 used social networks, compared to 8 percent of all internet users.
  • In 2013, 89 percent of people ages 18-29 used social networks, compared to 72 percent of all internet users.

Younger Employees Support Social Tools for Collaboration: 31 percent of baby boomers (born 1946 through early 1960s), 40 percent of Gen X (born 1960 through early 1980s), and 49 percent of Millennials (born 1980s through early 2000s) support social tools for collaboration.

Do Workers Feel Social Networks Boost Productivity? According to 40 percent of Boomers, 46 percent of Gen X, and 50 percent of Millennials, yes! But, one in three say companies undervalue it. About 40 percent of millennials would even pay out-of-pocket for social tools to increase efficiency.

Every Generation Values Social Tools at Work

Communicating with Coworkers: 69 percent of millennials, 70 percent of Boomers and Gen X, use social tools to communicate with coworkers. 56 percent of employers use social media for this purpose and 41 percent feel this is effective for creating a shared experience.

Communicating with Customers and Clients: 50 percent of Millennials, Gen X, and Boomers use social tools to communicate with customers or clients. Successful employers are 3.4 times as likely to use social networking for communicating with customers or clients.

Growing Professional Networks: 40 percent of millennials and 35 percent of Boomers and Gen X employees use social tools to grow their professional network.

Promoting Work-related Initiatives: 35 percent of millennials and 30 percent of Boomers and Gen X use social tools for promoting work initiatives. 50 percent of millennials and 49 percent of Boomers and Gen X employees use social tools to share documents.

How to Manage Millennials

Set Expectations: If you accomplish this goal, you can expect a promotion at this time and a salary of this amount. Then step back and let them work toward the goals they have been given.

How Millennials Can Manage Themselves

  • Work toward the goals your manager sets.
  • Recognize that making your manager look good will eventually help you move up, too.

Get Promoted! Here’s What Managers Look For

These three soft skills are critical in managers’ eyes!

  • 87 percent of managers note the ability to prioritize work
  • 86 percent of managers note a positive attitude
  • 86 percent of managers note teamwork skills.

Get ahead in a changing workforce with a master’s in communication. Queens University of Charlotte’s online MA in Communication degree is the definitive program to hone the soft skills modern employers demand.



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