Gen ‘why-spell’ is driving me nuts. Will training help?

Dear Aunty B,


I am highly annoyed at the inappropriate communication online skills of my young staff. Apparently this is a generation that has grown up online and should be experts at this communication.


But I have found the opposite. While they follow my lead when meeting people personally, online they display appalling habits.


Here is a list of sins just from this week!

  • My customer services rep keeps adding ‘faces’ on the bottom of emails depicting either the tone of the email or her mood at that moment (I can’t work out which).
  • Badly spelt email from new job recruit.
  • Client complained at receiving a joke video from my new young sales recruit.

To top it off, the last straw was being woken up last night by a text message from my PA at midnight telling me she couldn’t come into work today because she was ill!

What do I do? It seems to me that the Gen-Ys have a different approach to online than offline. Is there some kind of training they can do about appropriate behaviour online?

Leanne S,
North Sydney



Dear Leanne,

Shocking. It’s not enough that profits and sales are slipping and we have been overlooked for Kevin Rudd’s Best and Brightest talk fiasco.


We also have to contend with depressing correspondence from the Gen ‘why-spell’ generation.


I can’t be of any help on the training front. What course could they possibly do?

I suggest that when new Gen-Ys start, online communications are included in their induction program.


Here is a list of my four things to be banned:

  • Those stupid faces on emails.
  • Texting after 9pm (explain that after that time many people over 35 assume any call is from police, hospitals or banks).
  • Abbreviations.
  • Bad spelling.
  • Emailed jokes, videos, music to clients and suppliers.


Send in more contributions to feedback…and we’ll develop our own Gen-Y online communications policy for you!


And listen up Gen-Ys.

Before you go into your sulky funk and shoot me narky emails accusing me of being Gen-Yist, take some advice.

Of course there are some among you who write superbly, act appropriately and know how to spell. But for the rest of you, heed this advice. It will help you climb the ladder quickly so that you can topple the Gen-Xs and baby boomers, and set your own rules!


Your Aunty B.


Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch
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