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Behind the Pages

Podcast: How to Keep Your Millennial Employees Happy at Work

Keith discusses handling millennial staff with self-described “happiness junkie” Maggie Baker.

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BEHIND THE PAGES (EPISODE 3): HOW TO KEEP MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES HAPPY (22:33 MINUTES)


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HOW CAN a pet business owner locate, attract and keep millennial employees long-term?

That’s the subject of the third episode of “Behind the Pages”, the PETS+ podcast hosted by Keith Miller, who owns four Bubbly Paws dog washes in the Minneapolis, MN area.

For the podcast, Keith reaches out to consultant Maggie Baker, who specializes in building employee engagement and developing company culture at businesses around the country, including the San Francisco SPCA. Maggie, 34, calls herself “the Happy Millennial” and can be found on Instagram @happymillennialamags.

In the discussion, Maggie describes herself as a “happiness junkie” (1:20), and claims to have read every book about happiness ever published. She and Keith discuss employee happiness surveys, which Keith has recently implemented with Bubbly Paws, admitting that the first time he did one, he was scared “crapless” (4:15).

Maggie discusses the characteristics of millennials (5:50), nothing that the current millennial age range is 23 to 39. She’s tired of hearing how terrible employee millennials can be (6:30), claiming that within the next two years they will make up 50% of the workforce. “You’ve had enough time to make fun of us,” says Maggie. “Now let’s come together in the workplace. We’ll do some things our way, some things your way, and we’ll reach a really happy compromise in the middle.”

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Maggie and Keith discuss engagement strategies, including preferred modes of communication. In his business, Keith has learned that sending emails is a no-no (7:50). His younger employees just don’t use emails as much as he does. “Half the staff is … ‘Can you just text me?’”says Keith. (Not to mention the one staff member who asked Keith to send him his work schedule on Snapchat.

In the reader question section of the podcast, one PETS+ reader asks how a small store without a big budget can make millennials happy (13:40). Besides pizza and/or donuts, Maggie says one key is flexibility in scheduling PTO (personal time off).

Then see how Keith and Maggie respond when another pet business owner asks if he should block Instagram and Snapchat on his company wifi in an effort to force employees to focus on their work (16:00).

Finally, in response to another reader question on where to find millennial employees, you’ll hear the creative solution Keith used when he needed to fill a bunch of groomer positions in his businesses and couldn’t find candidates on Craigslist, Monster or LinkedIn (20:00).

New episodes of Behind the Pages will be released on the first Friday of every month. Subscribe to Behind the Pages on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

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Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 11 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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