This employee retention speaker and employee retention trainer was recently at an event in New Orleans and an audience member said, “I feel like a parent when I am dealing with some of my employees. Didn’t their parents even teach them some basic life skills?” My answer: In a lot of cases…no! My millennial colleague, Randy Wilinski, who does a program with me called “Making Millennials Great” has often told me that many of his friends don’t have basic life skills because of the families they came from and the way their parents raised them.
Randy has explained to me that many parents were “missing in action” because they were so consumed with work and their own lives that they didn’t take the time to help their kids develop basic life skills. Other parents were either helicopter parents, so the kids learned nothing or lawnmower parents that mowed down every obstacle the kids encountered so they never really experienced difficulty. At first, I was in shock hearing that but then I looked at my neighbors who were the same age as me and the different parenting styles. Low and behold, Randy was right. This created problems for the kids but then also the employers that had to employ them.
Basic skills such as cleaning a bathroom, sweeping or mopping the floor, or even picking up after yourself were not taught in many cases. Then, when the kid hits the workforce, they don’t have the skills or the learning process that comes from having had to do them. This creates a real problem for employers who get the young people and feel like they have to teach them EVERYTHING because, in many cases, they do have to teach them anything. If the employer is used to having people they can just drop into a job and the person will perform the job, a person with no skills is going to fail and the employer ends firing them…hence the impact on employee retention.
Employers need to realize that this is the reality that they may face. They need to adapt to it and, sadly, may have to play the role of parent to teach the kids some basic skills if they want them to succeed and not be an employee turnover statistic. Many leaders moan about the process and wonder why it has occurred. Well, stop moaning. It is what it is. Now, do something about. Parent the kids and help them succeed so that you are able to retain them. If you can do that…think of the competitive edge it will give you over other employers that either can’t or won’t do it!