Understanding the Misunderstood

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Managing teenage employees can teach you more about yourself than any other methods i’ve found. They test your knowledge on your field, your ability to communicate, and most important, your patience. I’ve found, through many trial and error (mostly making mistakes), that most young adults just want to be treated equally and don’t want to see others receive special attention from doing the same work.

Where I work, hours are given based off of performance and the employee’s availability. So when employees are clocked in, they are expected to perform their tasks as efficient as possible. However, when an employee underperforms, but has a lot of availability, I have no choice to schedule them, creating a lot of animosity amongst others.

So how do you deal with those employee complaints? I’m sure this answer lies based on your personality, but keeping your composure always helps. Understand that some employees, especially at the late teen age, may not see the whole picture of the business. This is, however, a great life lesson for them. The lack of fairness of scheduling, will only teach them that they need to take the shifts seriously and work hard.

Showing compassion and understanding toward an employee who thinks there is unfairness will also help the situation. A goal every manager should have is to keep the associates you have and work with them. Give them the same attention you give to anyone else and show them that you care about their ideas and appreciate their hard work.

A tip at achieving this would be to take an interest at what your employees do outside of work.  Find out what activities, sports, or clubs they are interested in, and find a way to relate to them. This will give you some common ground and the relationship building will go more smoothly.


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