NOV 2014

DAYSPA is the business resource for spa & wellness professionals! Each issue covers the latest in skin care, spa treatments, wellness services and management strategies.

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80 DAYSPA | NOVEMBER 2014 MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP valuable resource by establishing an on- line presence for the spa and utilizing social media to generate free advertising. Since taking on millennial employees of her own, Texeira has assigned to each of them specifi c digital media-related tasks. Today, Avalon Medical Spa has transi- tioned to a paperless business, thanks in large part to a young staff that was able to adjust and thrive using alternative technologies. Leslie Lyon, president of spa consul- tancy Spas2b, believes that spa owners who don't keep up with or implement technological advancements probably shouldn't bother to hire millennials in the fi rst place. "They want to work for a company that can provide digital tools in a digital age, so they probably wouldn't be the best fi t for you," she says. LIABILITY: They're just "unprofessional". Millennials have developed a more re- laxed way of speaking—with peers and with elders—that doesn't necessarily lend itself to the respectful tone you want to establish in a business setting. Although many young employees are sharp enough to know to turn that side off and put their best foot forward at work, some require specifi c guidance. "I've noticed that many of the younger generation need much more training on customer service behaviors," says Texeira. "We've had to coach some of them on verbiage, be- cause they're used to talking to friends rather than cli- entele. They can sometimes be a bit too casual. "Unfortunately, we've even had to fi re a few mil- lennials who just couldn't adapt to a professional environment," Texeira continues. "Some were talk- ing or texting on their cell phones in front of clients, or even having inappropriate conversations with cli- ents. We try to use these moments to teach them how to grow into professional adults, but if they aren't willing to learn, it isn't worth it." Texeira is quick to add that she has also had mature millen- nials on staff and is pleased to have invested time in them. Rather than fi ght the cell phone culture millenni- als bring to the workplace, California day spa chain Burke Williams chose to adapt to it. Realizing that text messaging is the No. 1 way this group commu- nicates, the spas' managers now use texts to quickly and effectively relay messages to their staff. ASSET: They're adaptable. While some bemoan millennials' lack of traditional work experience, smart managers use it to their ad- vantage. Because they're still malleable, these workers can ultimately become the type of employees you de- sire, with the right training. Understanding this, Burke Williams instituted a mentoring program for new hires. "It helps to bridge the gap between long-time employees and new staff," says Marlena McGrath, director of employee engagement. By the time the 18-month mentoring program is complete, millennials feel like fully integrated members of the team, ready to take on any workplace challenge. Training and mentoring shouldn't be overly specifi c where they don't need to be, however. Giving millen- nials room to solve problems and adapt on their own affords them the challenging work and feelings of confi dence they crave. Lyon recalls when she asked a young assistant to reconfi gure her business's fi nancing program. Initially, she inundated him with lots of minor requests, which confused the task at hand. He fi nally had to ask her to step back to let him fi gure out some of the issues for himself. Lyon reports that this Gen Y-er thrived once he "had the fl exibility to do what he does best." © KIUIKSON/GETTY WHAT'S ON THEIR MINDS? If trying to understand your millennial employees has you scratching your head and throwing your hands up, a recent survey by the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School may give you some insight. Here are some of its fi ndings: • 1 in 3 millennials said "social media freedom" is a higher priority than salary. • 80% said they would prefer feedback in real time rather than via traditional performance reviews. • 65% said personal development was the most infl uential factor in their current job. • 30% started a business in college. • 92% of 21- to 24-year-olds said entrepreneurship education was vital in the new economy. • 70% are planning to change jobs once the economy improves.

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