What to expect as an employer

The term “millennial” has been creeping into our vocabulary slowly but very surely as a new generation of employees, including junior chefs and front of house staff, enter the workforce, fast and furiously! Referred to as “Generation Y”, those born between 1977 and 1998 are the new workforce of our time, and love it or hate it, understanding what makes them tick is more important than ever. It could also help you to retain their services!

Although millennials vary as individuals, there are certain characteristics that seem to apply to the group as a whole and need to be taken into consideration when recruiting and managing them on a professional level. Understanding and accepting these characteristics will help create a better working environment for everyone. Plus, there’s lots to learn from the millennial’s unique approach to work and inspiration! Chef schools and universities need to collaborate with employers to create more flexible employment opportunities.

Tech-savvy and digitally unafraid

This is the generation that saw the rise of the Internet and the majority of which were born into a digitally advanced world. Unlike their predecessors, Generation X, they are techno-phillic – willing to embrace and easily pick-up most new and technical things.

Slow internet or outdated software simply won’t fly for them in their place of work if it’s relevant to what they need to do.

Relationships and socialisation

Millennials are social beings and relationships including family and friends matter.  They like to feel at home and a sense of belonging matters. This needs to happen in the workplace otherwise they simply pack up and move onto the next destination.

They respect positions of authority but like to get to know “the boss”.

Employers should always take the time to welcome a millennial to their business.  Sit down, have a coffee and share some of your philosophy with them.  An hour of your time and energy is one of the most valuable strategic investments you can make in structuring the foundations of a working relationship with a millennial.  Keep it real and let them know that you didn’t get to where you are without a struggle. A millennial wants to be able to relate to you and your team and that their contribution will be significant and is going to matter to your organization.

They want the raw truth

Millenials know that “super heroes don’t exist. They understand that people and indeed businesses all have their flaws – and they want to know about them. They are part of the documentary era, where the truth in many once-accepted institutions was laid bare, and along with the rise of social media, nothing remains hidden from the public eye anymore. Transparency is everything and it is important for them to feel informed in the workplace. They aren’t scared to question systems and make suggestions.

Recognizing these millennial traits is just the first step to creating a harmonious working environment. Next time we will take it one step further by giving some tips on how to successfully lead and manage millennials in the workplace.

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