What we’ve learnt hiring staff and millennials in the last year
Since covid lockdowns began in March 2020, it's been a challenging time for employers and the tasks of managing remote staff.
The new generation of employees, such as millennials and Gen-Z, have had to go straight into their first jobs working in a remote environment - and this can come with various challenges for managers!
Without being able to sit down with staff members in your office to show them the ropes, there is the task for managers to get the most out of their new juniors and also help them develop.
We spoke to some top business experts who have employed younger cohorts remotely in the last year to get their feedback.
David Beard, Founder of Lending Expert
“We have had some great people start with us in the last year and to be effective, I think it is really about structure. Millennials get a bad rap, but you shouldn’t assume they will all be taking advantage if they are working from home.”
“You just need to be very clear with the jobs you are giving them and the deadlines. There are some things that come with working in an office for a long time - such as being able to ask quick questions to your superior or you can get other tasks if you have time freed up.”
“Realistically, you should propose a task and when you would like it ready by (e.g 2pm or 3pm) and if they finish early, suggest moving onto this task. Being clear with this means that they will not go too slow - since you don’t want to catch up at the end of the day and realise that nothing has been completed. But equally if they finish early, they are still being productive.”
“The last thing you want is someone working remotely, but hardly working. But with good time structures in place, you should avoid this.”
Donna Stobart Hook, Marketing Consultant for Jumpsec
"It has been tough for our new remote staff and millennials during the last year. We quickly learnt communication was key. For all new employees to meet their co-workers via Google hangout. Taking them through an online induction process.”
“We set clear priorities and set work-life balance priorities with regular remote drinks and quizzes and active promotion of taking time during the day to go for a walk with photo competitions.”
“We wanted to generate fun during a dark period. We schedule all our work through Google Drive and Docs. And many video face to face calls. JUMPSEC work in a collaborative function and every person's opinion is valued so we have weekly company calls to run through our schedule and department focus for the week.”
“Post lock down our first activity was to bring the company together for team building."
Dan Kettle, Co-founder of Pheabs.com
“We have hired three millennials in the last year and we have taken various steps to see if someone is disciplined and ready to be productive from home or not.”
“We always start with a probationary period of 1 to 2 weeks and we always pay people for this time, since we want it to be worthwhile for them and get them motivated.”
“We want people starting sharply at 9am and to message us with a hello email explaining what they are working on, and then sending a recap message at 5pm too. This reinforces the work they are doing, giving them a moment to think about their tasks for the upcoming day and to get used to reporting in a scheduled timeframe.”
“In terms of collaborations, we use the likes of Google Sheets to list tasks and update them as we go and also boards like Trello and Asana so that we can see what the progress is.”
“We try to avoid a ‘big brother’ complex and we do not want our staff to feel like they are being monitoring, but with these collaboration boards and Google sheets, you can see the times that people have checked things or made changes - and essentially it means that we raise any issues if they were not being productive or are trying to play the system.”
“But ultimately, if they are in a good rhythm and routine, it demonstrates that we have found a good person who can work effectively in a remote way. And at that point, we can give them the freedom to enjoy their week and they become a valued part of the team!”