Douglas Emerson Profitable Horseman
Profitable Horseman Newsletter
June 19, 2008 
In This Issue
Five Tips for Managing Youthful Employees
Others Have Said
Back At The Barn
The Good Old Days Are Gone. Five Tips for Managing Youthful Employees
"Finding good workers has always been a problem.  I suspect the comment, "You just can't find good help any more", has been spoken in every language since the Sumerians started serious commerce thousands of years ago.
Aristotle has been attributed to saying, "Today's youth are atrocious. They disrespect their parents; they ignore their elders and teachers; they are lazy and are only interested in pleasure."
Elbert Hubbard penned "A Message to Garcia" in 1899 after a rough day in his office dealing with lackluster, unmotivated employees. 
As a business owner or manager, how many times have you been disappointed with the work ethic of new hires on the farm or ranch? 
If OFTEN is the answer, read on.
Complain about the help all you want; it won't make a difference.  If you're of the Baby Boomer generation (born 1944-1960)  or Generation X ( born 1960-1979), you are finding that new hires of Generation Y or Millennials (born 1980-2001) don't have the same view of work ethic as your generation.
Gen Y grew up in a school age era of "No one gets left behind".  Admirable and altruistic, the spirit of no one gets left behind ironically gets left behind on the high school graduation ceremony stage.
A Gen Y employee with an entitlement philosophy is a bad fit for your business focused on profitability as a core value.
Work ethic is a concept like beauty; it's in the eye of the beholder. 
And the fact that so many Gen Y employees think differently about what work is compared to Boomers and Gen X employers is neither good nor bad.  It's just a fact that employers need to understand.
Your Gen Y employees will begin to understand how to be productive in a job over time.  Growing up in a world of instant satisfaction and plug-n-play, "hands on" work experience for Gen Y help is a rare find today.  Inexperience is the new standard.  Stories of how much harder you and your generation worked in the past do little for developing work ethic and job skills.  History is only important to youth after they have had enough life experience to compare their own history.
If you've been spending too much time in the shallow end of the think tank of your business, take your thinking to a deeper level. 
Here are tips about employing the youthful entry level work force:

1.  They were raised in a team environment  (no one left behind)  in schools, they expect a workplace that is fair to all.  Use a team concept (two is a team) when possible to encourage accountability.
2.  Adjust your time frame of reference to theirs - the last two decades.  Nobody cares what your entry level work experience was back in the day.  Use references that will make sense to them.  Live in the present with them.
3.  This group grew up in the Screen Age:  TV, Computer, Nintendo, Cell Phone, iPod.   They have a single task focus problem.  Distraction was the norm in their environment for development.  Make your instructions simple and clear, prioritize and then have it repeated back to you.
4.  They're hopeful and confident.  With school years emphasis on building self esteem, their self images include leaping tall buildings in a single bound.  When they fall, point out their mistakes and suggest using a  ladder next time.  But, leave them with words of encouragement for success. It works.
5.  For today, short of mechanization, they are all you have to work with.  Your job is to build your leadership skills for them to build their work skills.
Stop complaining about the youthful employees.  It's all been said for thousands of years.
Lead to succeed.  Leadership has been working for thousands of years.
Others Have Said 
Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."  --  George Orwell

"The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives."  --   Marilyn Ferguson
"Twenty-three is old. It's almost 25, which is like almost mid-20s."  --   Jessica Simpson

Back At The Barn

I know a little more than some folks about Generation Y.  All of our six children are members of Gen Y. 
 As a Boomer, let me tell you from experience with our children that the music we listened to like: The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones crosses generations without resistance.  The kids love the great old bands.
But, the stories of what we were doing, where we were working or driving to while listening to those bands are as welcome as weekend homework. Yawn.
Someday history will matter to them. But for now, it's good practice for me to stay in the present.  You know, like, keep up with slang and stuff. And as one daughter says, that's sick. 

Need A Speaker About The Horse Business? 
Call or e-mail me about possibilities for your event.
Call me (716) 434-5371.
I talk with professional horsemen from all over each week about their businesses.  Some I can help right away, some aren't quite ready and I refer some to others better suited to help them.
Phone or e-mail me to discuss your situation and the possibilities.  The only thing that holds you from success is you.
Until next week,

Doug Emerson
Profitable Horseman Deewochagall
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