You’ve hired your dream candidate. They’re blowing the doors off all the technical problems you’ve been having. But, they don’t seem very happy. And, they don’t seem to be fitting in with the rest of the team, especially since they’re lacking professionalism. What are you going to do now? Mary Gardner, The Charisma Coach, who we just interviewed for a Manage Smarter podcast on the C-Suite Radio Network, would say it’s time to put on your coaching hat. Here’s how it works…
Today’s managers are faced with building teams from five different generations. Older employees, those in the baby boomer and Gen X groups, accept assignments without question. They put in long hours. For many, the concept of work-life balance doesn’t exist. Younger employees question everything. These team members won’t necessarily complete a task unless they feel involved.
To increase involvement and make solid connections with your team members, use storytelling. Try opening a meeting on a project by delivering a one-liner: a statement about what must be delivered. Then you should delve into details that will make your audience, your team, become emotionally involved. Talk on a personal level about a similar project you managed and how it impacted you or the larger world.
Beyond storytelling, start involving your team members. Ask for their input. Start with the least experienced person in the group. Otherwise, the more experienced team members may squelch creative thinking, simply because newer employees often feel intimidated. Include as many ideas as you can in the project in order to give employees ownership. This process, says Gardner, will appeal to millennial and Gen Z workers who admire inspiring leaders.
Excitement about a work project may still not be enough to induce professionalism in your new tech hire. Managers realize that while younger employees bring energy, ideas and technical skills to the table, they often lack understanding of true teamwork. It’s up to you, the manager, to set ground rules. One approach to the situation is to focus on career goals and discuss how the current job fits into the employees’ larger vision for their lives. Ask if they see themselves progressing in a management role. Many young workers share this goal.
If they are coming in late, leaving early and asking about more benefits, explain how that attitude doesn’t match the management profile. Encourage them to volunteer for more projects and devote more energy to work. Advise them to pay attention to company culture. For example, taking more than an hour for lunch isn’t a good idea. Another example could be reminding them to praise a co-worker for a job well done. Consistent coaching on these topics can help you shape the career path of a talented employee. What could be more rewarding than that?