How an Employee Manual Will Help Bridge the Generation Gap
If you’re a business owner, perhaps you feel that you can’t find employees who are ready, willing and able to work. Our clients in every industry – engineering, food service, hospitality, even healthcare and medicine – are experiencing what seems like a universal lack of potential employees. But is that really the case? Could something as simple as an employee manual help?
When we investigate further, we uncover that our Baby Boomer business owners/bosses are experiencing a disconnect between their generation and the Millennials they employ. Baby boomer bosses frequently have difficulty understanding why millennials don’t really get the message about what is expected in today’s workforce environment. Characteristics once considered baseline requirements for many jobs – things like punctuality, politeness, attention to detail, and good grooming standards – can seem foreign to some millennials who are more than capable from a skills and capability perspective.
Millennial workers are capable, ready, willing and prepared for your business tasks. Yet, our clients report that millennial employees have not been taught or modeled what we might call classic business comportment – those work-world behavioral expectations. So, they perform as they see fit, without recognizing that perhaps some changes could be helpful to their careers.
We believe your business will benefit if you take the time to showcase the desired behavior and requirements.
An Employee Manual Can Help
What’s a good first step for managers and owners to consider? We recommend an employee manual. Expressing standards in an employee guidebook is as important as an operations manual, even if you have just one employee. And the bigger your organization becomes, the more important it is to have that employee manual.
In the guidebook, you will:
- Document your expectations explicitly.
- Clearly detail the attributes of your company culture.
- State the importance of reviewing the manual on an ongoing basis.
You’ll want to train the millennial employee immediately after hiring and at least monthly thereafter for the first seven months of employment. What a gift for this person; it’s not punishment, but a contribution to career growth and enhancement. Our experience is that most – if not all – millennials want to have this time with you. Millennial employees want to learn how to meet your expectations.