The term “millennial,” when used to describe today’s job seekers, is primarily referring to applicants who were born between 1980 and 2000. While many of them are just starting to embark on their future career paths, others are already well on their way. Nonetheless, millennials are making their presence known across all industries, including manufacturing. In fact, according to the Business and Professional Women’s Foundation, millennials will comprise approximately 75 percent of the global workforce. As such, managers and company owners will need to adapt to the perspectives, habits and capabilities of a younger workforce.
Provide Feedback on a Regular Basis
Millennials crave constant feedback on their job. Most of them want to know if they are doing something wrong, and all of them are thrilled to receive praise when it is due. As such, managers should take a proactive approach when providing feedback. Consistency and fairness are the two keys here, and feedback should always be administered in a professional and courteous manner.
Offer the Opportunity for Diversification
If possible, give millennials the chance to fulfill multiple roles. You should always take care not to overburden your employees, of course, but young workers of today are known for highly versatile and multifaceted skill sets.
Chris Resto, co-author of “Recruit or Die: How Any Business Can Beat the Big Guys in the Way for Young Talent,” highlights this by saying: “What all businesses, big or small, should know about this generation is that they would like to do everything if they can. Having multitasked since birth, millennials continually thirst for learning and growth in the workplace. That makes make them particularly strong assets for smaller organizations who are likelier to afford them extra responsibilities because there’s much less hierarchy.”
Develop a Mentorship Program
Apart from learning and doing, a lot of millennials actually want to teach their skill sets to others. If this describes your workforce, you might consider implementing an internal mentorship program. This gives your skilled and experienced employees the chance to transfer some of their own knowledge onto those who are just beginning their career. Moreover, it gives millennials another opportunity to diversify on a regular basis. This is a common method that is sometimes referred to as “reverse mentoring.”
Most millennials are team oriented and highly collaborative by nature. With this in mind, you might want to consider dividing your workforce into different teams. Not only is this a proven way to boost productivity between likeminded teammates, but it can also serve as an incentive and a motivator for other employees who may be struggling with productivity.
Millennials crave workplace flexibility more than anything. With many employers taking a nonstandard approach to the workday, including eliminating 40-hour workweeks, offering work-from-home opportunities and taking a relaxed approach toward their workforce in general, millennials are becoming accustom to having a great deal of flexibility with their schedules. If possible, give your millennials the chance to make their own schedules or to work from their home on occasion. Doing so is a great way to show that your company is ready to handle the increasing flow of millennials into the workforce.
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