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Nine strategies help manage a millennial labor force

Involvement, buy-in and plenty of guidance are among the principles you need.

Alan Newport

January 12, 2018

2 Min Read
Nine strategies help manage a millennial labor force
One of the management techniques millennial workers need is a lot of guidance and instruction.JackF-iStock-Thinkstock

The goal in managing Millennials is to give them a well-defined organization of which they can feel they are a part, and to help them buy into your operation, says Don Tyler, a management coach who often works with agricultural and veterinary operations.

Tyler offers these nine ideas to help implement that plan.

1. Write a strategic plan for labor. Include corporate vision, a statement of your model employee, a consistent hiring system, a training program for daily procedures and personal development, plus a clear expectation for employee behavior.

2. Document everything: Performance evaluations, disciplinary actions, job applications, termination reports. Create an employee handbook and have all employees sign it prior to the beginning of their employment. Write job descriptions.

3. Define and reinforce your company core values. Tie everything back to that, from interviews to performance reviews, to daily decisions to firings. These young workers need to understand how their job fits into the larger purposes of the organization. Tell them.

4. Be deliberate in training. Designate trainers who are good at what they do, and good with people. Be patient. Follow up and retrain as necessary. Be consistent.

5. Reward teams more than individuals. Millennials aren't always comfortable with individual praise. Tailor rewards to the group. Do this often, but not necessarily on a regular schedule.

6. Give regular, personal reinforcement of job performance. Interact with everyone, not just supervisors. Give regular pats on the back for just doing the job. Learn the motivators for each person. Tell them when they do things right. Coach them when they do things wrong. They need ample feedback.

7. Make opportunities to socialize at work. Help define boundaries between work relationships and personal relationships. Define acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Encourage employees to help plan events. Clarify boundaries for use of cell phones and social media.

8. Provide a sense of purpose. Tie daily activities to benefits for society. Provide opportunities for personal development for employees and their families. Encourage personal and career development.

9. Discern fairness in company policies. Because of their upbringing Millennials expect fairness. You shouldn't have one set of rules for long-time employees and another for new employees. Also, your behavior and that of your managers sets the standard. If you do something it suggests to Millennial employees that it's okay for them to do.

We will publish more about hiring Millennials in the spring edition of BEEF Vet and here on the BEEF Vet webpage. To read part 1 in this series, go to this link.

Don Tyler can be reached at (765) 523-3259 or on his website: [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Alan Newport

Editor, Beef Producer

Alan Newport is editor of Beef Producer, a national magazine with editorial content specifically targeted at beef production for Farm Progress’s 17 state and regional farm publications. Beef Producer appears as an insert in these magazines for readers with 50 head or more of beef cattle. Newport lives in north-central Oklahoma and travels the U.S. to meet producers and to chase down the latest and best information about the beef industry.

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