As a company grows, so does its need for new talent, and in today’s workforce there are several generations to choose from. One can select from the well-seasoned Baby Boomer to the green bushytailed Millennials, each with their own strengths. Figuring out the correct balance for a company can be a challenge and takes some understanding of where the company stands in its development. All customers, regardless of their respective generations, are looking for the same things from a 3PL: timely communication, meeting delivery times, and avoiding additional cost.
Keep in mind the following when dealing with different generations.
- Be aware of preferred work styles: Boomers tend to prefer detailed instruction and guidance while Gen X and Millennials work better on teams.
- Adopting effective communication: This is key for effective and timely communication. Understanding the preferred method of communicating that a customer wants can alleviate communication barriers. For Veterans and Boomers a fixed hour work week can mean they are not reachable after a certain time as they typically prefer a phone call or personal conversation. Millennials, on the other hand, have communicated via technology all their lives, and are continuously connected and readily available as such -- a text message later in the evening many not be intruding.
- -Identifying the most successful feedback techniques: Understanding how the generations view feedback can help avoid pestering clients with hourly updates, or on the flip side, worrying them with minimal updates. Developing a relationship with customers can lead to a clearer and tailored feedback channel. A “No news is good news,” approach may suit a Boomer client, but the same approach would not be suitable for a connected Millennials utilizing live feed software.
- Recognize the different reactions to conflict: Avoiding conflict should be a primary goal in every customer relationship. However, when problems occur, understanding what approach a customer will take can expedite solutions. Whether the customer expresses their concerns via a corporate hierarchy as a sign of respect as is frequent with Boomers, or take an immediate and direct approach as is seen in Gen Y, they are both looking for relief. With this understanding one can present solutions to the right parties or teams both timely and directly, making best use of everyone’s time.