I recently had a conversation with a friend about some of our employees. The employees are high school students working as summer interns, and the things they do are pretty wacky by our standards.
- One spends all her lunch-with-the-boss-as-a-new-hire time texting on her phone. No eye contact.
- One wears shorts so short you don’t even know if there’s anything under the blouse.
- One keeps posting Facebook photos and messages about how great it is to work there, even though they are doing no work due to the Facebook use.
One key thing I had to do quickly was establish something: this isn’t a generational issue. It’s an age/maturity issue. These “kids” have never been taught or told what is acceptable, for the most part, so they are relying on what they know.
I’ll be speaking at HRevolution and possibly some other events this fall, and at least two of them will be focused on how to get past the generation/age thing and look at what really matters in the workplace. I’m looking forward to bringing the conversation to where it needs to be instead of the “You know those crazy Gen Y kids and their lousy work ethic” conversation/commiseration that seems to be all too common.
Any other crazy stories about young/inexperienced employees you’d like to share? Come on, it’s Friday! :-)