Hey manager! Does it seem lately like everyone is looking for some nameless, faceless thing to blame for All That’s Wrong in the world of business? Unemployment numbers aren’t where we want them to be. Neither are sales or growth metrics. Now some companies are looking for a handy scapegoat to blame for their lack of production. I’ll give you three guesses who got painted with the target…and the first two don’t count.
Are Millenials Slackers?
Case in point: manufacturing firms across the country are blaming Millennial “slackers” for their lack of production. They want to cut back on overtime because they think their younger workers should be getting more done in the regular time allotted. Now, that might be, but, really, whose fault is it if employees aren’t doing the job you expect them to do. If they have a quota and don’t reach it, find someone who will. And if you set an expectation and they don’t meet it, find someone who will.
Yes, I realize there are laws governing what you can and can’t do regarding hiring and firing, and I know these laws vary by state, but applying that fact in this situation is nothing more than an excuse. The adage holds: if you want to find an excuse, you will…but that never solved any problems.
So, if the problem is a lack of production, ask yourself: “have I accurately and adequately communicated my expectations to my people.”
There are Slackers in Every Generation
Look, you might have the most worthless bunch of slackers the world has ever seen, but that’s not a generational thing. There have been slackers in every generation. That’s why this term is a timeless cliché. Achieving optimal value-added work is not always about motivation or incentivizing. It might be, but you need to eliminate all the other potential causes first. Namely, anything you are doing to allow or encourage lack of production.
If you are doing all you can, you can take Other Necessary Steps with a clear conscience … and a paper trail in case those slackers take offense when you send them packing.
David Milberg is a financial expert residing on the Upper East Side.