By Jake McKay | Posted: Wednesday April 27, 2016
Youth employees are different from their older counterparts; we know this for a fact. Often viewed as unmotivated, disengaged and easily distracted, we easily forget that theyre equipped with strong technical knowledge, a fresh perspective on your business and a mass of growth potential.
Just like any member of staff, the happier your employees, the more engaged they are with your business, and the more valuable they become. Proper management can propel task efficiency and role satisfaction, but the way you deal with your older staff is not going to cut it with your younger employees. We’ve put together a few tips to get the most out of your youth employees.
Give Responsibilities From Day One:
Youth like to feel valued and integral to your business. Regardless of where they place in your organisation, allocating core role responsibilities and decision-making authority from day one will encourage growth and motivate your staff to perform above and beyond expectations. Employees grow from taking risks and learning new skills, so throwing them in the deep-end (within reason!) will encourage growth from the get-go!
Encourage Them To Raise Their Voice:
Youth employees are shyer than their older, more experienced counterparts, and as such will often suppress their thoughts when it comes to team discussions or decision making. By creating a culture that encourages youth to voice their opinions shows that you’re invested in them and that they are valued members of your team. They’ll gain confidence in their role and you’ll likely find their perspective on an issue is very different from that of your older employees.
Offer Intrapreneurship Opportunities:
Today's youth exhibit innovative minds and often want to be entrepreneurs. Combined with a culture that encourages youth to speak up, offering your younger employees the opportunity to introduce new and innovative practices can prove highly lucrative to both your business and their role engagement. Remember youth are incredibly tech savvy - they live and breath in the online world. Whether they propose the introduction of new products, services, or simply new ways of doing current tasks, intrapreneurship within an organisation means growth, and should be encouraged across the board.
Carefully Manage Their Workload:
Youth are eager to say yes and take on new tasks, but they’re often inexperienced and can bite off more than they can chew. Because younger people may not fully understand their limits, or fully appreciate reasonable time allocations for individual tasks, it’s important that you carefully monitor and manage their workload. By making sure they don’t get swamped you’ll help ensure they’re working efficiently and that their allocated tasks get done to a high standard and on time.
Give Short Projects:
Youth may have shorter attention spans, but are highly results-driven and respond well to finishing designated tasks. By experiencing a quick turnaround on projects, you’ll ensure your youth stay engaged with their task, thus propelling progress and productivity. As youth are less efficient at allocating appropriate time to tasks, short timeframes with closer deadlines will instill an urgency in completing tasks, leading to high-velocity outputs and more engaged staff.
Offer Formal On The Job Training:
Where today's youth are more likely to come equipped with prior training or qualifications, employers are often less likely to offer on the job training to younger employees. Youth show a strong desire to learn, so offering on the job growth opportunities is likely to be keenly taken on and add value back to your business. Ensure you incorporate both hard and soft skills to help grow a well-rounded employee.
Today's Youth are an interpersonal generation. By offering some form of mentorship, you’re showing your staff that you’re invested in their growth and personal development. Whether this is a dedicated five minutes every day to check in how they’re going, or 30 minutes once a fortnight to discuss their role and career goals, a mentorship system can lead to more aspirational, engaged youth within your organisation