By: Danyelle Keenan, Senior Associate
“He should know better!” This seems to be the cry of the seasoned manager as he vents his frustration in dealing with his new, fresh out of college, employee. “Yes, he should. But, he doesn’t.”
I have had the pleasure of doing a guest lecture series at a local university. In an informal poll, I have found the overwhelming majority of college seniors have not held a real job. No fast food sentences in high school. No part time retail job to pay for gas. No waiting tables to pay for college. Therefore, they don’t know any better.
These young, fresh faced college seniors are headed into the real world without the basic job skills our current managers learned before they entered their profession. The simple things- how to ASK for time off; how to speak to the “lowly” employees; following the unwritten dress code; responding to emails in a professional manner; not texting in meetings; using professional phone etiquette; etc. They simply do not know. So, it is a hopeless cause? Absolutely not.
I have found that these eager employees want to please their manager, but do not know how. Train them. Incorporate a session in new hire training on business etiquette. Cover everything, even the things you consider common sense…like do NOT answer your mobile phone while in the restroom. No really, cover that.
Millenials, our young professionals, have a completely different experience than their managers. In order to create a more harmonious work environment, seek to create a level playing field – get everyone on the same page regarding the socially acceptable behavior. Later when an employee does those little things to annoy the manager, you can say, “they should know better,” because you told them