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Keeping Young Workers On Point

by fatweb


Eva-Maria is an author and certified coach who specialises in the relationships between adults and teenagers

With the start of the year, many companies would have acquired a number of younger employees. The bad news is they will only keep getting younger as they come into your industry. The good news is that this generation can be one of the easiest to deal with… when you know how to.

The fact they are younger means they can be quicker at doing tasks, because of one key element: their energy.

Many employers I’ve talked to credit quality and pace of work of younger employees to the energy, they have to keep going. The question is: how can you find this potential energy, and gear it towards meeting your workplace’s goals and work load?

Here are a few thoughts around how you can keep the company’s younger employees’ productivity intact over the year.

Set targets

Many times, I consult with companies where their younger people are under-utilised because they can sometimes perform and adapt new skills faster than other employees. In the past, perhaps you’ve noticed some of them ‘slacking off’ while they claim all their work is ‘finished’, or they’re ‘on track’.

Have a look to see they in fact have enough work. Boredom can set in easily for young people and they won’t be the ones to come to you to ask for more tasks. Young people of today think in achievement milestones, rather than time. So, instead of sticking to the ‘you need to be working X hours on this project’, give them milestones they can achieve.

Get them on-board

At your next team meeting, present the targets and results you want to achieve before your yearly quarter, or before a given number of months is up, and get everyone’s buy-in to get it done as individuals and as a team.

Young people’s competitiveness may set in to do jobs faster and as long as it’s friendly, you will be amazed at how much productivity can go up. It’s a culture you can put in throughout the year, and it’s a win-win because it gives young people not only motivation to work towards goals, but a chance for them to belong to a team, meaning less chances of them dropping the ball – because they want to get the year over and done with! Turn the working year into a time-frame to pump out the most work.

Keep the discipline intact, but allow leeway

Don’t give staff the special treatment all day just because you ‘understand’ they’re busy with their social/family lives/commitments. Work is work, so make sure you’re sticking to the rules (or a Code of Conduct you might have in your office) that everyone is aware of.

Like a common parenting principle, if you don’t stick to the rule you set once, your kids are more likely to keep bending the rules because they think they can get away with it.

Having said that, if you can allow for some extra leeway during the year, give these as rewards for target achievement, or recognition. An example could be, to give them an extra 10 or 15 minutes lunch break. It might sound simple, but they will appreciate the ‘gift’.

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