How to manage younger employees

How to manage younger employees

Younger employees demand different things from employers than older workers so it is critical that you create a great working environment for them otherwise they will leave, says public relations expert Mark Borkowski.

The new generation of employees have different priorities to previous generations so it is important you make the effort to redefine your working relationship with them, Mark says. Here’s how to do it:

1. Ditch your assumptions

Mark says: “We have younger members of staff at Borkowski now who have a completely different set of values that people had 20 or 30 years ago. So it is really important that you have an amazing sense of EQ and understand what your co-workers are feeling.”

2. Communicate with them

Mark says: “Talk to your employees about the business. They need to know what you stand for as a company. This is a day and age when employees will look at the founder of the business and ask who am I working for, why am I working for this person? You have got to answer those questions and make them believe in your mission. Keeping them aligned to your success is key.”

3. Understand that salary is only part of what they want

Mark says: “Young people who come into a business have a greater belief in their own success and ability and they are very attuned to issues surrounding mental health. So to get the best people you have to create a different way of working. You need to offer flexibility, you need to be able to address mental health issues and support people when they feel under pressure, and you need to offer benefits which are not just financial. All of these things are important now for people because they have a choice of where they want to work.”

4. Don’t expect or assume longevity from younger employees

Mark says: “Expecting longevity from younger people now can be challenging because younger people do not necessarily value staying at and growing in the same business in the way previous generations did. So you have to cherish those people who have been with you a long time, and think about how you can benefit them.”

5. Provide training and development

Mark says: “Training and development is key. You need to give people the opportunity to grow in your business and develop a skill set that will stand them in good stead. There is always the risk that you might invest in a person and then they leave to work for someone else, but this can attract other recruits because they can see the careers that people achieve after being trained by your business. It is a great reflection on your business.”

6. Realise that your business is under constant scrutiny

Mark says: “Social media and websites like Glass Door give employees an opportunity to show what your businesses is like. So employing a younger person is not just a simple task of paying them a wage at the end of the month and that’s it - the relationship has to be much more interactive. If it isn’t, and they are not comfortable with you, they have got the means now to turn to a number of websites to paint a picture of you, which ultimately will affect your reputation with your suppliers and your customer.”

7. Be willing to learn from your employees

Mark says: “Listen to your younger employees to get a good cultural understanding of the fast-moving changes that are taking place. I learn more from my staff than I do from outside of the business.”

8. Use your employees to recruit others

Mark says: “Recruitment costs are debilitating, so if someone is really happy in a job they become mavens. I have got two or three people in my place who are particularly sensational and I have recruited very successfully from their network. If you become known as a good place to work, you will always attract the best people.”

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