Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees


One of the biggest troubles of a coffee shop owner is managing teenage employees. As young people who are literally working for the first time in their life, teenage employees require more attention than your usual workforce in a business environment.

Seeing that working in the service industry does not only build character but also helps in progressing careers, it is essential for teenage employees to get proper guidance in order to become successful professionals in the future. As one of their first employers, the responsibility to instill much-needed values into them falls upon your shoulders. After all, with 8 out of 10 restaurant owners starting their careers at the first step, today’s entry-level employee could very well be tomorrow’s restaurateur. Helping someone achieve their dreams just seems like a good idea, doesn’t it?

Coaching and Managing Teenage Employees

But even when you rationalize the practice of hiring and managing teenage employees, the fact that handling them is difficult cannot be denied. Since they are not entirely focused on their workplace, have studies to tend to, and harbor a busier social life, helping them manage all of these aspects in order to become an efficient employee could be a challenge. But even then, it is not an impossible feat.

Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees
Teenage employees can bring value to your business

1. Treat Your Teenage Employees With Respect

The biggest mistake that employers can make while handling teenage employees is treating them differently than adult team members.

Just because your teenage employees are young doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the same level of respect and attention that you provide to your older employees. Not treating your teenage employees with respect has an adverse effect. The more you talk down to them, the more they stop respecting you. As a result, you could expect a dip in their morale and a negative shift in their work performance.

To avoid this, make sure to let them feel respected and wanted in your work environment. Talk to them the same way you do to your adult employees. Listen to whatever suggestion or feedback they have to share. This simple trick of managing teenage employees translates into:

  • better morale,
  • a boost in motivation,
  • and a significant improvement in their work performance.

Don’t have any teenage employees but still need tips to get your staff motivated? Then check out “How to Motivate an Employee Who’s Underperforming in Your Café” for more tips for your shop.

2. Understand Your Teenage Employees Learning Curve

Believe it or not, most teenage employees do their best to learn the ropes and work efficiently. They do it in order to avoid any issues with their employers. Since they are working for a reason. Whether it is to garner experience or to obtain some income. They want their job experience to go as smoothly as possible.

That’s where you need to extend a hand and help them understand your work processes. Let them learn the ins and outs of your business. Since teenagers are eager to learn, this training helps them comprehend the functions of your industry. As a result, this could lead them to become a better and more efficient part of your team. If you take the time to teach them new skills, then a teenager could also handle a few job responsibilities at once.

Have any college students at your business working? Be sure to not miss “3 Things You Should Know Before Hiring College Students” for tips on handling college students while working.

Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees
Understand your teenage employees learning curve

3. Understand Their Commitments

This is where your understanding of your teenage employees’ life and commitments comes into the picture. As mentioned above, teenagers have their work cut out for them. Managing school, family chores, work responsibilities, and social commitments could take its toll on them. Sometimes, they might need to fulfill one commitment more than the other, which is where scheduling comes in.

Make sure that whenever your teenager employee comes in with a request to modify their schedule, that you don’t dismiss them on the spot. Take the time to listen to their reason and why they are trying to change their schedule. If possible, entertain their request. If not, ensure to explain why you aren’t able to do so. Check out our full guide to successfully scheduling at your place with “How to Schedule Employees at a Restaurant or Cafe“.

This way, your employee understands that they have someone to rely upon who is appreciative of their life outside of work. As a result, you have a more committed employee who tries to give their best to your business.

4. Explain Your Actions

This is an aspect where you need to walk that fine line between being assertive and rude. Being a strong boss is one thing, being a mean one is another. That is why make sure that whenever you are asking your employees to do something that is out of their daily routine, such as asking a front desk employee to act as a server for the day, that you explain your reasoning behind the action.

Simply passing an order and thinking for it to be followed can only take you so far as a manager. Especially while managing teenage employees who want to understand the functions of a professional work environment. Check out “9 Tips to Help You Be More Positive at Work” or “Leadership Tips For Cafe Owners” for helpful tips to having a more positive environment in your place of business.

When you explain your reasons to your employees, they are more likely to understand where you are coming from. And actually, help you achieve your intended goals with your decision. As a result, you have employees that you can count on. Which helps your business in its day to day operations.

Learn How to Effectively Manage & Coach Teenage Employees
Explain the reasons behind your actions to your employees

Remember, managing teenage employees could seem like a grueling task. But it is really just a matter of understanding their point of view. Make sure that you pay attention to your teenage employees. But view them as a valuable asset of your business rather than an expandable part of your team. You would be able to develop efficient and valuable team members out of them.

Thank you for reading! Let us know in the comments below if you have any teenage or college students working in your cafe or restaurant. Be sure to also read “Tools For Tracking Employee Performance at Your Cafe” for more info on having an organized and well-performing shop.

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