Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coaching Your Employees - Especially the Young Ones

It's funny how time brings wisdom in some areas of one's life and not so much in others. I guess we all have our teachable moments. Some stick. Some don't. Recently, I've been sought out for many questions related to seasonal work and how to find a summer job. Based on some of the questions, it's clear to me that job seeking skills are probably not taught as much as they need to be in school. Finding a job is tough, and recruiting, as John Sumser so eloquently wrote yesterday, is kaput.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions I get frequently.

  • Where should I apply?
  • To how many places should I apply?
  • I haven't heard anything back. Should I call them?
  • Which national park is the best?
  • What's housing like?
  • I've never worked at a seasonal job. What should I expect?
You know what's interesting is that the wage question is not asked as much as one might think. And really, the reason Cool Works exists, is because there are some pretty spectacular places out there to work and play, and the play always wins that argument.

As Community Manager, I've also had to get in the middle of conversations where feathers have been ruffled, feelings hurt, situations have just plain gone south, and people want to vent. Venting is fine, BUT, on a public network, where employers may lurk, venting should be done with the utmost discretion, and hence we have rules to refer to when things get murky. In my humble opinion, difficult work situations should be between the employer and the employee. They aren't for public consumption and discussion. Granted if something has occurred that is so flagrant where laws have been broken, there are protocols for protecting oneself, and by all means, do what you need to do.

(Notice that is me playing both sides of the equation. The former HR professional / now HR spectator, who still cares about the companies, but also has a soft spot for legitimate complaints from employees. Bottom line: Do unto others as you would have done to yourself. Working relationships should be about mutual respect.)

Anyhow, these questioning and excited "newbies" are on their way to you. Some have already arrived. Treat them well. Teach them how to be good representatives of your company. Help them grow in their skills. As wise Gordon, from many a SHRA conference, once said, these young people may not be working for you forever, but you sure have an opportunity in these three to six months to shape their futures. Take advantage of this time. Share your wisdom. Because ultimately, we, regardless of our generational baggage, have something to teach each other. And finally, make sure that every employee who comes to your great place has fun! You know that's why they're there, right?

1 comment:

Coaching Employees said...

Why is it always the young ones that we forget to give attention to?