My company do engage youths to assist during events. I have come across young people who are diligent, punctual and co-operative. We appreciate such workers and will engage them for future projects.
I have also met young workers who regard event work as an avenue to have fun and meet more friends, attitude is very slack, do not follow instructions and expect managers to cover their roles while they walk around chit-chat with other colleagues of their age. They gives kind managers headache! The impatient managers would terminate them immediately without explaining the reasons.
I believe in education and giving people a chance to perform. Since young people need the exposure and training, I put in extra effort to remind them to follow instructions, provide them a clear expectation of professionalism and explain the reason behind the work requirements; when time permit. I hope these young people learn and improve.
Some of them are receptive of feedback and appreciative of my efforts. But there are insolent ones that talk back, simply refuse to follow guidelines and label us as demanding or naggy. They show contempt towards senior staffs or managers, see operating procedures as unnecessary work and have no intention to improve the quality of their work. Bad attitudes can be displayed from people from all age group. However, my experience tells me that older workers are more responsible, proactive and they know their place generally.
What happens when leaders condone bad attitudes of their staffs?
A team's standard is as good as the weakest member. Staffs with bad attitude might affect the overall team performance as they refuse to do the work required. They influence others negatively. The manager's job is to ensure everyone follow the process and event goes smoothly. If one of the team member refuse to comply, the manager might lose respect from other immature staffs, making it harder for the manager to lead the team. I have seen people with bad attitude gang up, and refuse to co-operate or bully good staffs or managers who are trying to do their job dutifully. Eventually the good staff left. The quality of the work in the company goes down the drain. It is essential for management to handle the problem of bad work attitudes early. Bosses have to be very supportive of managers educating and disciplining the staffs.
As much as we want to coach staffs with bad attitude, there is only a few chances we can give to show that they are serious about this job and putting their best effort to improve their behavior and quality of their work. Afterall, we are all employed for a purpose to do a job well.
Being a manger is not as easy or glamorous as it seems. The most important goal is get the team on same page to ensure the project completes successfully.