Customised internal communication: The key to engaging a multi-generational workforce

“There are only three measurements that tell you nearly everything you need to know about your organisation’s overall performance: employee engagement, customer satisfaction, and cash flow. It goes without saying that no company, small or large, can win over the long run without energised employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it,”
Jack Welch, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of General Electric.

Engaging employees may be more challenging than ever before, for the first time in the history of the business world we have at least three generations that are all working together, the Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y (also known as Millennials), all of whom require different ways in which to be engaged with. Navigating through the different characteristics, values, and attitudes toward work, based on each generation’s life experiences can become a bit like walking through a mine field. Getting it right and aligning your key messages internally is intrinsic to building a solid reputation.

Different communication strategies are vital to successfully integrate the multigenerational work force. Why is this important for your reputation?
Employees play a vital role in the reputation of an organisation, very often this is where the reputation of an organisation starts, as their daily perceptions and interactions become the reality for external stakeholders. If the behaviour of employees does not live up to the expectations created through the organisation’s external communication campaigns, the organisation’s overall reputation will be damaged. “What we have found is that if your employees’ morale is low, then this generally has a negative impact on how the organisation is seen. It is inevitable that not all your employees will be exuberant 100% of the time, however, when a whole team becomes negative external stakeholders are more likely to believe what the employees say than the fancy marketing and public relations campaigns,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters.

Apart from taking an inside-out approach to aligning internal beliefs and behaviours to external perceptions, organisations need to understand that the way in which you communicate and get the most out of a Baby Boomer, is quite different to that of a Millennial. It is important to note that there is no right or wrong way of communicating, it’s about being able to adapt to what is most effective.

The key is to effectively address and take advantage of the differences in values and expectations of each generation. With that said, it is important not to follow blanket stereotypes, it does, however, help to have a broad overview of each generation to help with understanding and being tolerant of each other.

“When it comes to improving your internal communication, keep in mind that the workforce currently consists of different generations with whom you need to communicate. Align your communication to the overall business values and objectives using the most appropriate channels of communication per generation. Facilitate mentoring between different aged employees to encourage more understanding and multigenerational engagement. Employees like to have a voice and to be heard; facilitate feedback opportunities through different forums,” concludes le Roux.

To find out more about how best to communicate with the different generations in your organisation, contact Reputation Matters on
(011) 317 3861 (Jhb) | (021) 790 0208 (Cpt)
or visit

Released by Reputation Matters
Media contact: Nadia Nel
Mobile Number: 081 439 3912

Belgian and SA students compete for best business ideas

“Youth Month” sees students from the University of Cape Town (UCT), a visiting student group from Belgium and fledgling entrepreneurs from the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development (at UCT) competing in a “Pitch Off” on Thursday, 08 June 2017 hosted by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB) in Parow Industria. The UCT Development Unit for New Enterprise (DUNE) Pitch Off competition, supported by CCPB, aims to provide a safe but competitive space for student entrepreneurs to take the first step towards starting their own business as they pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges.

The Belgian students will be in Cape Town for the International Week of Entrepreneurial Management which is a collaboration between UCT’s DUNE, the H-Web, the CVO Hooger Insituut Der Kempen and Thomas More University in Belgium.

The participants from the Raymond Ackerman Academy (RAA) are graduates of the six-month entrepreneurship programme and are currently part of the RAA’s year-long Graduate Entrepreneur Support Service where their businesses are incubated. “The course is for young people who are passionate about business and personal development, who have limited opportunities for accessing tertiary education, finding or creating employment,” explains Elli Yiannakaris, Director of the RAA.

Siphelele Magidigidi, a former RAA graduate who is now the Director and Founder of three companies, says, “The RAA taught me how to identify a problem within society and how to build a business model aimed directly at resolving that particular problem.”

South Africa has among the lowest level of entrepreneurial activity in the world. Despite this, small and medium sized enterprises account for 48% of the Gross Domestic Product and over 50% of employment.

“There is no doubt about the great value of developing an entrepreneurial spirit amongst young people. They possess great energy and potential to contribute to economic prosperity, job creation and ultimately to improve the community in which they operate. We are thrilled to partner with the Raymond Ackerman Academy and the Development Unit for New Enterprise on this exciting journey,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages.

Stuart Hendry, Director of DUNE says, “Enhanced entrepreneurship is crucial for economic development. UCT has a unique opportunity to play an important leadership role in building critical mass for the development of entrepreneurs in South Africa.”

Pol Hauspie, serial entrepreneur and founder of Belgium’s H-Web Foundation will be one of the judges on the panel reviewing the creative ideas presented by the students as well as Letitia De Wet, CEO of Enactus South Africa and Rob Hersov, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. “It is a great privilege for me to mentor young entrepreneurs from Belgium and South Africa by sharing my experience, knowledge and insights,” concludes Hauspie.

25 Live: A night at the circus

The Parlotones are once again joining creative forces with Zip Zap Circus to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cape Town’s very own iconic Circus Academy.

#25LIVE is directed by the combined talents of Brent van Rensburg (Zip Zap co-founder) and Kahn Morbee (Parlotones). It promises to be a night of wonder, combining the comedy and awe-inspiring feats of circus with all the band’s home-grown hits. You do not want to miss it!

Event details:

Dates: Performances are on 30, 31 August and 01 September 2017.

Time: 19:30.

Venue: Artscape Theatre Centre, Cape Town.

Tickets: R250 available at Computicket or via Artscape-Dial-A-Seat 021 421 7695.

VIP Tickets: R1000 (which include hospitality throughout the evening as well as fabulous hampers and artists meet and greet) are available from Zip Zap directly: Jillian on 021 421 86 23 or

For more information about Zip Zap visit their website.

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