Connect with Your Younger Workforce West Point MS
Connect with Your Younger Workforce
Learn How to Boost Productivity and Your Bottom Line
By Ken Whiting
The next generations of workers, i.e. teens and young adults, have gained a reputation from the older generation of not being able to contribute at the same level they did when they were young.
People often talk about how today’s teens just don’t have the work ethic, are lazy, and they don’t listen, follow rules or respect their supervisors.
For sure, teens will be teens, and their immaturity and attitudes will surface on many occasions. However, well into a new millennium, it’s become clear that the pace and environment that these young people have been raised in is unique to their short lives.
So before you dismiss this new generation of workers, take the following into account and use this knowledge to turn them into workplace stars:
Technology: Teens and young adults today have known a world with cell phones, computers, the Internet, Google, MySpace, YouTube, and iPods. This has played a role in shaping every aspect of their lives. Use this to your advantage by allowing younger workers to help you with technology-related projects. Get their input when updating your web site or using social networking sites. Allow them to share their wealth of knowledge with you and your staff.
Information & Communication: Not very long ago, information came from the nightly news, daily newspapers or books. Communication was face-to-face, in writing or over the phone. But all that has changed! Over the last decade, information and communication have flowed in an instant stream and can even be customized. Teens and young adults are hard-wired to process the maximum amount of facts, figures and news. Now, communication occurs at a far greater rate through cell phones, e-mails, instant messaging, texting, and social networking sites; however, it is far less personal. Use this to your advantage by texting or e-mailing your schedules and company information to younger workers and bringing them up to speed in a way that they are more familiar with.
Society & Culture: With access to credit cards, we have evolved into a consumer-driven society, dominated by brand names. At both the individual and professional levels, sports have taken on a far greater level of significance and involvement. Many times, role models have moved away from a local positive adult influence to distant celebrities who can easily disappoint. All of these things have shaped what teens and young adults expect in the workplace, so they are certainly less ready for the traditional workplace than past generations. Preparation for entry-level, hourly and seasonal jobs rarely occurs. Young adults honestly don’t see the cause and effect between a part-time job and the million-dollar lifestyle they aspire to. Smart employers will tackle this challenge by setting honest expectations upfront, and mentor younger workers on a regular basis so they stay on track with their future goals.