Millennials are said to be a difficult bunch to engage in the workplace, especially within the restaurant industry. They are stigmatized for having a higher job turnover rate and less loyalty compared to previous generations. However, this generation will make up over 75% of the workforce by 2025, so now is the time to start understanding and developing methods to create a happy, cost effective and productive work experience for your millennial staff. Here are three ways to keep millennials engaged at work.
One of the most important tips to realize is that if people don’t respect you, they aren’t going to work hard for you. And just because you own, manage or operate a restaurant, it doesn’t automatically make your employees respect you. Communication is the key to respect (this is a tip not just geared towards millennials). However, when it comes to millennials, an open communication channel is something they will honor. They should feel that they are able to approach you, ask questions or even confide in you. That open channel will earn you a great deal of respect with your employees. Another suggestion, is to be a proper authority figure by being a team player. For example, if your team needs to reach a certain sales goal for your restaurant, teach your employees the best practices to do so, don’t just tell them to do it. That in turn, will earn their respect and the outcome will benefit all parties involved.
- Take it online
It’s no secret that millennials do everything online, so teaching and engaging with your millennial employees online should be no different. As millennials are known to be the most tech-savvy generation in the workforce, they will take full advantage of online materials and e-learning. By offering interactive online menus, managerial courses, or just a typical training course online, your millennial staff will use and appreciate it. Also, these online materials can lower costs for your business. It’s a win-win situation. By providing your employees with learning materials and the opportunity for growth (available anytime), you are proving your enthusiasm in their personal development, something millennials look for and appreciate.
- Grow Together as a Team
Millennials want responsibility because they know that experience is the key to advancing in their careers. To retain millennial employees, operators must create strategies that help them learn and accomplish more through different experiences. An idea for this is to pair a less-experienced millennial with a mentor at the restaurant. A person that is not their direct boss, but has more experience. Mentors are a great way to provide guidance and inspiration for younger employees. Also, employers should offer their millennial employees leadership opportunities whenever possible, even if they aren’t the most senior person on a team. This builds loyalty by proving that you have faith and trust in their abilities. Millennials are eager to prove themselves and companies that reward ambition and offer professional development will create a productive work environment.
As a millennial myself, every point made in this article is exactly the feelings my peers and I have. We strive to advance in our careers but not in the way that once was expected. We prefer real experiences, new technology, innovation and for our elders to believe in us. Hey, our generation ain’t so bad afterall!