Communication and the Ideal Millennial Workplace:
ATTRACTING AND RETAINING YOUNG TALENT IN YOUR FOOD SERVICE ENDEAVOR
Guest Blog by Abbie Garcia
By the year 2020 millennials will make up 40% of the overall workforce, so it’s wildly important to the future success of your business that you understand how to go about attracting and retaining members of this oft-written of and just as frequently misunderstood demographic. The overriding key to any healthy work environment is good communication, but that can be a broad directive to follow. Here are some factors to consider when envisioning the ideal workplace for today’s entry level employees:
Millennials crave an atmosphere of open and transparent communication at all levels. It is both an exciting and daunting time to be entering the workforce- the future is uncertain, but that means you have an opportunity to shift the changing landscape. Working under someone with experience who isn’t afraid to relate one on one and act as mentor in some capacity has huge appeal to employees, and filling that role will help you cull new great ideas and keep a finger on the pulse of your establishment.
Always remember that culture is equal parts “top-down” and “bottom-up”, meaning as owner or manager, your personality and habits will seep into every aspect of operations and are equally as vulnerable to be affected by your hires, so it behooves you to make sure you’re modeling best practice day in, day out. Additionally you can use this two-way street to mutual advantage and engage with your younger staff to find out about new industry trends in real time.
Invite conversation with employees as often as possible. Try and stay on top of regularly scheduled performance evaluations, as knowing the date of an impending meeting will motivate staff members to take mental notes and be better equipped to comment on goings-on or ideas for improvement. Consider implementing a sort of college professor style “designated office hours” to encourage an atmosphere intent on addressing issues as they arise, both as a way to improve efficiency sooner rather than later if someone has a eureka moment and as a means to avert minor personnel clashes spiraling into personality driven feuds, which we all know can be a big problem both in and out of the kitchen.
Millennials value a space that allows them to speak their voice and bring about meaningful change in their environment. According to research conducted by Intelligence Group, when millennials are asked outright, 88% note a preference for a collaborative work-culture over a competitive one and 64% say that improving the world is high on their wish list. Even the smallest scale organization has room for employees to engage and express themselves; whether that comes in the form of an annual fundraiser for a local cause or the opportunity for staff to create menu items or cocktails, it is gratifying to see the ripples our passion can create in even our own small corner of the world.
Every restaurant, bar, cafe and brewery is different and comes with it’s own unique set of challenges and strengths, and while there are dozens of factors to consider in making your business model and personnel structure alluring to the next wave of doers and thinkers, as in most social matters in life, there’s arguably nothing as important as communication.