The most entitled, challenging and opinionated generation has been here with us in the manufacturing industry for some years now. They are known as millennials.

The jury is still out about the age with which they lie, but the birth period is between the late ‘70s and the dawn of 2000.

Can they fit in well in manufacturing environments and embrace policies like their more docile parents?

Let us explore how to discern their world and help them integrate into manufacturing companies.

What do we know about them?

  • They are entitled and challenging: they question everything and milk every right from the book.
  • They have a very advanced awareness of the world around them.
  • They have embarrassing access to technology and information.
  • They have a very improved environment for improving money inflows with little effort.
  • They have scant respect for cultural sentimental attachments.

There have been very many discussions surrounding this generation. While some see them as spoilt brats, others tend to think they are the most hardworking generation.

Many old-timers think that they are a nuisance at the workplace. However, they can bring very out-of-the-box ideas that can turn companies around in very short periods of time.

As a manufacturer, is there anything you can do to get the best out of millennials?

How about trying these three tips to make your company attractive to them;

1. Let them feel involved

The millennial generation, unlike the previous ones, is very outspoken. They like to be heard. To motivate them, you need to make them feel like they belong.

The manufacturing industry has its fair share of ‘old timers’ who know their trade. A majority of times they tend to look down upon the new entrants, and this is one of the reasons millennials do not stay in one place a lot longer than the older generations.

To keep your millennial workforce around for longer, have an ear for them. Involve them in suggestion, design, piloting, and implementation. They need to own a work environment before they settle.

2. Simplify and hasten communication

This generation has always had things working at lightning speed. They are not a patient lot. You are going to need to get rid of the archaic modes of communication and get faster ones if you want them to relate.

For instance, you may need to reduce the amount of time it takes for an employee to receive feedback on their work. Between the early 90s and early 2000s, you could get away with a yearly or semi-annual review, not anymore.

This generation will want feedback on the spot. They want to feel they are doing something and getting noticed. Otherwise, they will be out the door before you can say, “biannual.”

In the same breath, your communication channels will also have to change. Long, boring meetings going nowhere will no longer cut it.

Try making the meetings fewer and utilize emails and texts, they will love you for it.

3D printing engineer working in a lab

3. Get with the times

Embrace modern technology.

Old methods have sentimental value, and it is tough to let go of them. However, the workforce is now primarily millennials, and that is not how they roll.

They want gadgets, automation, encryption, robotics, the works. And they are willing to help you innovate.

Do away with dress codes and ironclad working hours. They are more for output and deadlines. And they have changed the language too, so get a grip on that as well.

Getting with the times, however, is not just for the new employees in the market, you may find yourself saving a lot by improving the way you do things.

Final Thoughts

The generation Y is not only the most aggressive and technological savvy but can also be loyal if you know how to win them.

And they like cul but hard-hitting workplaces that allow them to manifest their nature, offering flexibility in non-essential areas while demanding perfection in essential areas of the workplace.

It is difficult for the older generations because they did not grow up with much of a voice.

However, it will not hurt to try.

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