Impatient, entitled, demanding, lazy. These are some of the media’s favorite words to describe “millennials,” also known as “generation Y.” But if you already have some millennials on your service team, you might question whether these terms actually define the newest members of the workforce. Maybe the newcomers just require a different management style.
Whatever else the media says about them, millennials do tend to switch jobs more frequently than previous generations. And dealerships are having a hard time holding onto their technicians and other service employees these days. Fortunately, if you can manage to retain the millennials on your staff, you’ll have a lot less hiring to do in years to come.
If you find yourself struggling to connect with your youngest workers and don’t want to lose them, you might just need a change of attitude. Follow these tips to attract dedicated millennial employees to your dealership and keep them around for the long-haul.
1) Offer Flexible Hours
Rather than work traditional 9-5 schedules, many millennials prefer to create their own timetables. They’re not opposed to long hours if they can also have more flexibility. For example, some companies allow their employees to work 9-hour days with every other Friday off, or work four 10-hour days with every fifth day off.
Service departments often open earlier and close later than other businesses. So you can already offer your millennial employees greater flexibility than a cookie cutter corporate job. Work with your employees to give them flexible hour options and opportunities for more days off. They won’t mind long shifts if it means free days later.
2) Emphasize Work/Life Balance
Few millennials want 80-hour work weeks and lives that revolve around their jobs. They strive for a greater work/life balance than their parents had, and you’ll likely find they prioritize family and friends over scoring points with your management team.
You can attract more millennial employees and keep them happier if you give them time for vacations and opportunities to use it.
3) Represent Your Company Accurately
Remember that millennials are ultra-connected via the internet, social media platforms, and other online tools. They can find reviews for your dealership and its culture in less than five seconds. For this reason, it’s important to be open and honest about your dealership’s workplace culture, your expectations, and what kind of experience potential employees can anticipate.
4) Include Them in Meaningful Projects
Millennials will jump at the chance to escape monotonous tasks and work on fulfilling projects. Many companies encourage their young workers to spend part of their time working on innovative ideas. Other companies give their new employees a chance to manage other workers or head up a team after a few months.
5) Provide Lots of Feedback
This generation’s workforce loves feedback. Millennials thrive on frequent performance reviews and pointers. Try pairing your younger employees with more seasoned veterans to serve as examples and update them on their progress.
6) Encourage Volunteer Work
Despite their representation as the “me” generation, millennials tend to be community-minded. They will appreciate opportunities for volunteer work and fulfilling service projects. Company-sponsored charity work can attract employees, enhance your dealership’s image, and improve your community all at the same time.
The millennials on your service team will prove to be your hardest-working, most creative employees if you craft the right environment for them. Use these tips to update your traditional management style and keep generation Y at work in your service department for years to come.