Managing young people

I have dealt with a few managers who are quick to judge when it comes to their employees. I hear it all the time, “I want to get rid of this employee.” Every time a manger tells me they want to get rid of somebody, I always want to know why. While there are many reasons for why they want to get rid of somebody, I feel that managers just don’t want to put the work into a troublesome employee. I got a call today from a young man who I trained into management. He was upset because one of his employees was met by the managers District Manager and the employee was out of dress code, disrespectful, and violating company policies. He wanted to know what he should do. I chuckled a little because I could remember a time when this manager was guilty of doing the same thing before being a manger. This was only a year ago when he was going through the same type of situations. He let me know that he wanted to get rid of the employee and of course, I asked him, “why?” He let me know that the employee had been being disrespectful and had not really been doing well. I asked him, “What do you think I would do in this situation?” I said to him, “you have been letting him do this for the last four weeks for twenty five hours a week. You know I would not let you get away with this. As a matter of fact I did not let you get away with any of that.” One time while he was under my supervision, he decided to be out of dress code while at work, I let him know that if I caught him out of dress code again, I would send him home and reduce his schedule until he could learn how to be at work in proper dress code. So one day before the end of a business day I showed up to check up on them and this young man was once again out of dress code. Nothing too severe, he was just not wearing his name badge. But he was out of dress code. So I sent him home and reduced his schedule just like I said I would. He was never out of dress code again. Through several conversation he finally straightened up. He saw the effects of the things I passed onto him not only at work, but also in his personal life. So when he called me for advice, I told him, “You were just like that, do you remember? Your manager and his manager wanted to fire you, do you remember that?” I advised him to have a conversation with his employee and be firm but understanding. 

Many times managers see an employee’s bad attitude or lack of work ethic as the cause of problems. The reality is that the attitude and work ethic is the effect of the employees personal life. As manager many times one does not want to get involved with their employees personal issues. But if they are not too severe where professional help is needed, then getting involved is exactly what is needed to effectively handle these issues. For example, I had a manager tell me last week that one of their employees which he recruited was not doing so well. He had only had her there for a couple of months and already want to get rid of her. The position she has is a sales associate. She is very personable and not shy or afraid to ask for the sale. The problem is that she tends to lack knowledge and is always looking to have the answers handed to her with out any effort. I see this as a problem passed down from the relationship between her and her parents. They are all nice people but when they interact with each other, her parents treat her like she is five years old and she accepts it. As a manager to have an effective employee, sometimes it is necessary to touch on these points. It is important to let her know that she is an adult, because she is, and need to learn how to find answers through sources that are readily available through company training and through the all mighty power of the internet. It is important to establish when it is acceptable to ask questions, but to push for an independent approach. 

Dealing with young people is not easy. But, if one digs into their managerial bag of tricks, they can find a way to develop a well rounded employee who is thoughtful and independent. Each situation requires a full understanding of the situation and the solution is not always straight forward, but I believe that always with out exception, there is an exception. So as a problem solver by lining up the right questions and techniques, one can get to the bottom of managing young people.

If you have any question, please feel free to reach out to me. 951-707-8474. And remember I am here to serve, so don’t be afraid to reach out.