In a galaxy far, far away…

My, how far we’ve come as far as managing a business goes. It’s a rare week in our office when we don’t hear someone making a comment about the workforce. We often hear, “I can’t find anyone to work” or “People don’t work like they used to“. These are common complaints, especially for a community in which 40% of its businesses serve a seasonal tourism market. 

But what is the shift in the workforce?  

At this writing, there are more Millennials in the workforce than Boomers. That means the Boomer manager is now faced with supervising a generation of which he/she has little understanding. So how can managers address this generation gap and get the job done?

Just as the Baby Boomer generation shocked the Silent Generation with world-changing innovation, the Millennials could open our eyes to advances we can scarcely imagine.  But would it be an uncomfortable adjustment? 

Let’s talk about how we can shift our mindset about workers. 

  1. Employees are assets. None of us would ever think of neglecting a prized piece of equipment by failing to do scheduled maintenance or service. We know what it costs to replace it.  So why isn’t that true for an employee?  You’ve invested time and money into hiring and training that person.  Treating them as less than a valuable asset is like neglecting the maintenance of your equipment. Employees need routine maintenance too!

  2. Employees need training on job expectations. Employers routinely express frustration with employees who can’t “stay off of their phone”. It’s obvious the differences in the generations here. We need to remember that the younger employees grew up with a phone in hand and they likely never considered it an issue. The way you trained employees in the past is not the way you need to train a millennial. It doesn’t make them bad – employers just need to adjust. Be specific in your expectations and hold them accountable.

  3. Employees need to be engaged. Good managers train their staff to understand how the employee’s job fits into the delivery of the entire product or service. Consider this scenario: As you are dining in a 5-star restaurant, you pick up your wine glass and observe lipstick on the rim. At that point, does it really matter whether the restaurant has the best chef in town, the greatest wine list, or the best wait staff? Not at all. Every employee’s ability or inability to perform their job is just as important as anyone else’s in the restaurant. Engage your employees and you’ll find success.

  4. Employee rewards aren’t always financial. Embedded in our nature is a deep-seated desire to help others, not for the money, but for the sense of self-worth. Sure, everyone works to make money, but that is only one reason people work. Look around town – You’ll see businesses that have maintained their staff for years while others have a revolving door. Why is that?  A good guess would be the sense of belonging the employees feel made real by a manager who truly appreciates their staff. As employers, our ability to empower this sense is by simple, genuine gestures to let our employees know their efforts are recognized. 

The role of every employer is to assemble a team that can perform the needed job. It is important to understand each member of your team, what their role is, and their ability to perform the task. In many cases, the quality of the job is more of a reflection on management than on the employee. 




Continue the conversation! Contact us today to join Forward Cody so we can continue to provide the needed resources businesses need to retain and train their employees!