The shortage of the labor market is felt in all sectors. There are also many vacancies for side jobs, including in agriculture and horticulture. Horticultural companies there have a hard time finding extra hands in high season. How do you, as an employer, make the side job attractive to future potential employees? At Greenport Noord-Holland Noord, the following ten tips were published by adviser Yvonne van Sark to keep young people on board.
Bureau Youngworks specializes in the perception of young people and knows how young people dream, work, feel and taste. In the Go Go Greenhouse project, consultants from the agency horticulture entrepreneurs teach in a series of four workshops how to better manage young people and how to show young people that greenhouse horticulture is an interesting and promising employer with many opportunities.
Show young people the bigger picture
Show students what’s going on in your gardening business. They often come on Saturdays to pick onions or something similar. They then walk from the cafeteria to the workplace and back and have no idea about all the other facets of the business. Then show the whole business process on the first working day, so that the young people understand how their work contributes to this.
2. Hold a pep talk at the beginning of the day
An often heard comment is that young people are difficult to approach. They have headphones in, only say hello when they come in and they only pay attention to their phone. How to connect then? Talk to them about their group feeling, and as a football coach, give the group a short pep talk before you start. “Boys, this and that is what needs to be done today. We need each other for that, how do we fix it together?” At the end of the day, it’s just as good to stand in front of the group and give feedback on how the work went, for example: ‘Compared to three weeks ago, the speed has increased, or today we have harvested or planted so much’ By addressing yourself as a group, you also increase the group feeling.
3. Add a game or contest item
Young people love a challenge. At the start of the shift, say, “Gunner, we have a challenge for you today. If you manage to beat last week’s average score, I have a nice reward for you.” Or, ‘Do you think we can beat last year’s record?’ Or something else like that. Nominate and reward good performance. For rewards: unexpected and afterwards works best.
4. Give compliments
Most team leaders tend to put a lot of energy into an employee who regularly arrives late, spends a lot of time on his cell phone, or chats with colleagues. This means that the young people who are always there and doing well are often overlooked. Under the guise of ‘if you do not hear from me, it’s okay’. Young people are very sensitive to compliments and what others think of them. So give it attention. Say, for example, “I can see you’re doing a good job, you’re doing a good job.” Or, ‘I saw you helped that colleague, so glad you did.’
5. Reward loyal supporters
Are there young people who have worked for you as a side job for a long time? So reward them by giving them more tasks, with just a little more status and a little higher compensation. See what talents they have and take advantage of them. For example, give them the responsibility to educate new young people. Show them that they can grow. Outsourcing tasks give you as an entrepreneur the opportunity to address other issues.
6. Remember that the adolescent brain works differently
Young people starting a part-time job are often the first time they gain work experience. They are inexperienced and need more structure. So keep in mind that you as an employer or team leader need to provide more guidance than you might think. Also realizes that young people have a youthful brain that is still developing mentally and cognitively. They still need to learn how to plan and maintain an overview. So be careful not to judge their skills with an adult eye.
7. Show a little more of yourself
As an entrepreneur, you are looking for loyalty. At the peak of the season, one must be able to trust that the young people show up instead of going to the festival. Loyalty is what you get when you give it yourself. Therefore, invest in a good relationship and create an atmosphere that benefits the team spirit. What can help with that is to show a little more of yourself. Share something about what makes you happy, tell an anecdote or show that you are a fan of AZ and look forward to tomorrow’s match. Talk about topics that connect you to them. Music can help with that, just like humor. Young people like to be seen. So go back to something they told you last week. Show that you remembered that they shared something about their hobby or home situation. As a team leader, you are the one who can build a bridge to the next generation. Remember your professional boundaries. You are a leader, so do not look for it in youth language, but show what you enjoy. That way, the young people can relate more to you and they feel recognized.
8. Outsource your social media to the young people themselves
Plants, flowers and vegetables are products that you can show all sorts of things about on social media. To do! But let the young people do it themselves. Talk to them about what you can best share about the work of your company. Ask what topics their friends also get excited about. And then let them make the photos and videos for Instagram and TikTok themselves.
9. Introduce the pink cookie plan
Celebrate the good times together. It does not have to be complicated. For example, treat yourself to pink cakes if your youngsters have done a good job. The beauty is that such small gestures work very well for young people’s motivation and team spirit and for their self – awareness.
10. See young people as more than cheap labor
Realize that investing in the youngest generation directly affects your image. If a young employee has a fun and educational time with you, he or she will not quickly forget. Conversely, negative experiences also have a great influence. After all, young people will only recommend having their friends on to an employer if they are feeling well there. So see young workers as more than cheap labor. Invest in the new generation. In the short term it is better to keep them engaged in you for longer, in the long term you will find young talents who are eager to start working for you after their studies.
Source: Greenport North Holland North