Most people have, at one time or another, picked up their cell phone to receive a text message and had to decipher something like the following …

“R u Cming 2 dnr l8r?  C u then!”

Luv K-Man

If it were not for the number displayed on the phone, you may not even know who this “K-Man” person is.  Moreover, you are not sure if this person ever received any type of formal education. Like it or not, this is where communication has landed us in the electronic age, where even waiting for the phone to ring is wildly inefficient.

This is a trend we are seeing in the working world as well.  In the age of Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and FriendFeed, communication not only needs to be instantaneous but the information must make its way to a vast number of people and be dead-simple to spread the word.  Whether it be an important document to share, or a simple “out of office” notice, there is an increasing demand for instant information.

This article is titled Bridging the Communication/Generation Gap because with today’s technology, that generation gap is getting fairly wide.  There are many different types of workers in the workforce today with different levels of technical competence.  If you look closely enough, you may find someone in your company where anything beyond snail mail is witchcraft. Then you have the GenY folks who have grown up with instant messaging, text messaging, facebook accounts, and all sorts of social media expectations.  When attempting to build a work environment that speaks to everyone, there needs to be something that your entire workforce buys into.

Many companies are turning to an intranet to provide that work collaboration tool and to build a corporate culture that is easy for all generations to partake in.  Fortune 500 companies are leading the way with innovative social intranets combined with more traditional document management and enterprise tools.  Intranets give employees an area where they can share ideas and retrieve corporate information in a quick and easy format. Ease of use must be a key factor when choosing intranet software or building your own intranet.  Provide the social experience but in a format the technology-challenged can easily use.

The beauty of a good piece of intranet software is how it can “WOW” both of these groups with the same functionality.  Those with less technical savvy can still contribute as long as adding content and documents is as simple as clicking an “add” button.  The younger generations will expect this ease of use so that they can jump into action on the site and own their piece of it.

This equates to a fast and effective communication tool that everyone in the company can buy into.  If you are looking for a way to improve communication and bridge that gap between generations, an intranet would be a great place to start.

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