Imagine you’re at a restaurant and you’ve just been seated at a table. About five minutes goes by and no one has taken your drink order. You start scanning the dining area for someone who can help and you stop when you see a young waiter in the corner, probably in his early-20’s, on his phone texting.
Clearly this guy isn’t doing his job, and if you’re like most people, you’ll write it off as a Millennial who, of course, is on his phone because that’s what young adults care about these days. But what if that waiter was just a poor hire?
For the past couple of years, the business world has been buzzing about generational differences. Specifically, what they are and how they appear in the workplace. After clicking through a few articles, you learn about how to facilitate communication among different aged employees, workshops, and other activities that are supposed to bridge the gap between generations.
However, bridging generations isn’t the solution, because different generations in your restaurant isn’t the big problem.
Think about all of the things that make your employees successful. How many of those things can you think of that only apply to people of a certain age? Probably very few. Instead of focusing on the scapegoat of generational differences, why not focus on behaviors that make employees successful at any age?
The reality is that some individuals may not be the right fit for your restaurant. Some may not be able to cope with high-stress dinner hours, and others may be too bossy or over-bearing when giving instruction. This has nothing to do with age, but all to do with personality and behavior.
Learn how to hire right without focusing on the “differences” in generations. Assessing job candidates based on the traits and behaviors that make a person successful in a role not only guarantees best fit for the position, but also keeps distractions like generational differences at bay.