Millennials are very guarded about their time, but we need flexibility. Any suggestions?
THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: Remember when you had a life, before you got totally wrapped up the in the business? Make agreements with your employees about what is acceptable. Staff your business to allow flexibility and recovery ability. Happy employees and a good work environment mean productivity and profits.
Once upon a time, you probably had a life outside work that was as important as the time and effort you put into the business. Balance between work and personal life can help prevent burn out, contribute to good health and lead to stronger interpersonal relationships.
It might be worth getting back to some work-life balance. How many hours are you working each and every week? How often do you interrupt personal plans to attend to business demands? How many friends do you have who say, “I haven’t seen you lately?” When is the last time you took a personal “play day?” How often do you find yourself running out of energy or enthusiasm at work? Take a lesson from your millennial’s and carve out more time for yourself.
It’s not so much the hours worked, as it is the work that gets accomplished in the time available. If someone is falling behind, the answer may not be to work more hours. Instead, help them focus on learning how to manage time better.
Check that all tools to do the job are up to date.
There’s nothing worse than spending twice the time needed on some task because a piece of equipment isn’t working right. Have a budget and schedule for regular equipment upgrades.
Be on the lookout for new ways to do things and be open to changing how things are done. Look for opportunities to gain higher-level skills. Get smarter, faster and make fewer mistakes. That, too, can lead to a huge improvement in mastering the work at hand.
Find out what people want and insofar as possible, give it to them. For those who want an extra day off, discuss reducing total hours and lowering pay. Alternately, consider expanding hours/day to get to a full four-day work week. Hold most meetings on a single day each week, so that people can plan around when you need them to be available to report in.
As the business grows, so will the workload.
Expect that nothing goes perfectly. Always have recovery time in the schedule, so that when things do go wrong, you don’t fall behind. Plan for people to take days off; ensure there’s enough coverage by hiring temps, cross training for jobs and adding part-timers to the staff.
Keep in mind that millennials often function best on teams. They’re actively looking for advice, nurturing and recognition — all things they were raised on at home and in school. Building teams to handle the workload allows them to gain experience, create a culture of support and education within your company and sets everyone up for success. Let the team work out the best way to accomplish goals. Work groups will rotate work among all members and get tasks completed productively, efficiently and on time.
And a final thought, avoid the temptation to cut corners on staffing, especially as your older staff members start to reduce hours and work toward retiring. Make sure you have enough personnel coming up through the ranks to keep things on track. Having enough people lined up to handle the work and then some is key to keeping that work-life balance in check.
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by Chip Espinoza and Mick Ukleja.