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Managing Millennials : Shifting Focus

A new generation requires a new approach from employers.

As the number of young people entering the workforce grows, many tire shop managers struggle to understand what motivates millennials. Why do they seem to always be on their phones? Should you institute a ‘no phone’ policy? What’s the right approach?

According to Tyler Waye, President of IN.FORM and author of, “I went to school that long for this?!,” the first step to managing millennials is understanding where they are coming from.

“Over the past few decades, work has been very organization-focused,” Waye says. “When people go to work, the goal is to build the organization they work for. That sounds pretty normal, but as every new generation comes online—and there are quite a lot of stats to back this up—they think about work a little bit differently than the previous one.

These generations are looking at the workplace through a much more self-focused lens. As much as they are interested in building an organization, they are much more interested in building their own career and their own life.”

According to Waye, if an organization’s business goals don’t align with an employee’s life goals, that can cause friction. When that happens, the employee shows up, and puts in some effort, but doesn’t go over and above the necessary tasks, he says.

A new approach

To get employees engaged, employers need to understand this new way of thinking, and they need to shift their approach when hiring new staff. Waye says the first step is to articulate your business goals.

For tire shops, it could be about safety or performance, he says. For example, the goal might be to assure that each customer drives away with the right tires for their particular vehicle and for their individual driving style and habits. With that thought in mind, shops need to find people who care about that goal and who sincerely want to work towards it.

Clashing priorities

Once a potential employee is found, the employer has to flip the conversation away from how the person can help build the business, to how the business can help grow the employee’s career.

“When someone starts a job, the first question to ask that person is, ‘How do we help you reach your goals?’ By doing so, you engage the person in a different way,” says Waye.

“Once they get them on board, they say, ‘If you care about the same goals we do, we’re not going to ask you to build us, we’re going to ask you to build yourself.’ As you’re building yourself, you’re also helping us, because we’re both pursuing the same goals. This really inspires people to work harder for themselves, and for the company.”

Approaching the hiring process from this angle assures you’re building a team that’s engaged and eager to work. According to Waye, this approach is also more effective than trying to manage individuals by implementing ‘no phone’ policies.

Categories : Tires

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