Five Management Techniques to Unleash the Potential of Your Millennial Employees

millennials

The millennial generation, people born between 1981 and 2002 (30 years of age or younger), represents a large part of the hospitality workforce. Therefore, as the owner or manager of a bar or restaurant, understanding how to work with your millennial staff in order to maximize their performance is worth knowing.

You probably have young employees who work hard, are reliable and have a positive attitude. But then there are their counterparts who more accurately fit the millennial bill: “lazy narcissists who feel entitled or too good for the job.” Sound all too familiar? It’s because unfortunately having an attitude of entitlement is more common than not when it comes to the millennial workforce.

The following management techniques can help you minimize your frustrations in dealing with problematic millennial employees, while maximizing their performance and job satisfaction.

1. Set expectations for employees and take the time to properly train them from the very start: Don’t assume that your millennial employees understand your expectations of them without clearly defining those expectations. It’s a recipe for disaster. Millennial employees typically need direction and thrive in more structured work environments. Set up your millennial employees for success by giving them the training and feedback they need and rely on.

2. Maintain healthy employer-employee boundaries: In the bar and restaurant industry it can be easy to fall into the trap of becoming your employees’ friends. While having fun at work is good for morale, be careful not to blur your professional relationship with your millennial workforce. It will only lead to confusion of roles and expectations.

3. Avoid emotional dialogue when giving constructive feedback: In high-pressure situations, it is tempting to lose your cool with an employee who has let you down or is not up to par. But when giving a problematic employee tough feedback, stay calm, unemotional and make sure that the conversations are done in a private non-confrontational setting.

4. Let your millennial employees know that you want to learn from them, too: As the more seasoned business owner and manager, your millennial employees could learn a thing or two from you about running a successful bar or restaurant. But keep in mind that their technology know-how probably trumps yours. Empower your millennial employees to teach you and your staff about the latest technology tricks and tools, and challenge them to put those skills to work for your business. Millennials want to feel a bigger sense of purpose and fulfillment on the job.

5. Provide your millennial employees with a work/life balance: Millennials value work/life balance more than most any other generation. Restricting their freedom will only create more resentment and minimize productivity. If you give your younger employees a sense of freedom and fairness, they will be more apt to return the favor, such as by taking on an extra shift at the last minute, or helping with your bar or restaurant’s social media and marketing efforts on their day off.

Invest in your millennial employees by taking the time to understand them and respond to their needs. It will pay off in the long run!

Trying to get more millennials to dine at your restaurant? Read our latest post on factors that attract millennials!

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