“Working with Millennials….that’s been my biggest challenge,” said Jae Kim, owner of Chi’Lantro BBQ in Austin, Texas. Chi’lantro operates two mobile food trucks and two food trailers, a full catering service and three restaurants. A fourth restaurant is planned to open in September.
Yesterday I listened as Jae told his story of bootstrapping his company to success. He began with one food truck and his total revenue on his first day was $7.00. On day two he brought in a whopping $20.00. This year he’ll gross over $6 Million.
Most of his employees are Millennials and this is how is leads them.
#1 – “First, I figure out what I want to communicate with them.”
Jae takes the time to get clear about his message. He puts some thought into what he’s going to say and the impact of the message.
#2 – “I tell them WHY it’s important.”
He says that Millennials want to know the Why behind what you are asking them to do. They want to know “what’s in it for me?”
For example, he once said, “If you do what I’m asking your tips are going to increase by 5 percent. If that doesn’t happen, come talk to me.” No one came back. Jae admitted, “I’m not sure what I would have said, but I believed it would work.”
#3 – “I tell them HOW to do it.”
He tells them and he shows them. He models the way.
#4 – “I ask them to do it.”
Having showed them how, he next asks them to try it for themselves.
#5 – “I ask for feedback and make adjustments.”
This is key. He even asks for feedback about how he explained the new process and how he came across.
The restaurant business in Austin is very competitive. Jae focuses on selling the Vision to his employees. He wants them to be excited about being part of this growth phase of the company.
Jae’s formula for communicating with Millennials is good for employees of all ages. It’s just good communication in 5 steps.
- Figure out WHAT you want to communicate
- Tell them WHY it’s important
- Tell them HOW to implement it
- ASK them to DO it
- Ask for FEEDBACK and make adjustments
People have a hard-wired desire to know where they stand in an organization. They want to know that their opinion matters and that they belong. By focusing on these key points employees will feel more connected and be more engaged. The result is higher performance that positively impacts the bottom line.