20 Somethings in the Workplace

Today’s youngest workers are smart and energetic, but often they have some rough edges that need to be softened. If you’re in charge of one or more 20 somethings, follow this advice from the Society for Human Resource Management:

• Tailor your training. Don’t try to cram every worker into the same training program, especially younger ones. Assess their experience level, get a good idea of what they know, and design training that fills in their gaps and reinforces their skills.

• Take advantage of their strengths. Find out what they’re good at, and start off with assignments that use their talents effectively. They’ll gain confidence, you’ll look good, and together you can work on expanding their skills so they can advance.

• Give lots of feedback. Veteran employees usually know when they’re doing a good job and where they need help. Younger employees may not. Keep an eye on them and give them lots of feedback - both positive, when they perform well; and constructive, where they need improvement. When they know you’ll hold them accountable, they’ll try harder to succeed.

• Ask for their opinions. Ask your young employees if your approach to training and management is working for them. They may spot areas you could pay more attention to, or things they want to learn that you’ve neglected. They’ll improve, and realize that you trust their point of view.

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