Leading The Next Generation of Millennial Manufacturers

The modern millennial is most often found out of school and in a pile of debt. As they search for a career, the manufacturing industry needs to step up and show them what it has to offer. Initiatives like Manufacturing Day have renewed a sense of pride in manufacturing among younger generations, but there is more businesses can do. With a little insight into this complex generation and their work habits, manufacturing companies can become leaders of the next generation manufacturing workforce.


Take a look at the 5 points below to see what this new generation wants out of a career.


1) Career Mapping

Much of the rhetoric surrounding millennials, such as their “lazy” and “entitled”, is not entirely accurate. Millennials have been proven to be proficient workers and offer businesses a unique perspective. Many millennials are extremely focused on their careers, but this also means they want to have a complete understanding of how they can progress through a company.

It’s not enough to ensure a millennial they have opportunity to grow when they take their first entry level manufacturing position. They want to see a clear and concise career map to illustrate that their new job isn’t a professional dead-end. With a insatiable appetite for professional growth, manufacturers can benefit greatly by offering this kind of road map. Businesses may even use this career map as a tool for their recruiting process to show the next generation that they have opportunity to grow and improve, professionally and personally.


2) New Technology

The manufacturing industry has become a breeding ground for high-tech systems and information technology. Businesses rely on new digital systems and technology to run nearly every aspect of their operation. This should become an emphasis for manufacturers recruiting strategies.

GE has a great example of how showcasing new technology can help recruit and retain millennials. Take a look at the video below to see how GE uses the Industrial Internet of Things as a theme for their new commercial.



3) Work With a Purpose

Millennials want their work to have a purpose. They want all of their effort to mean something toward the end goal of the company. Manufacturers may not always clearly express where an employee fits in when looking at the big picture. This can be an easy way for a company to become much more attractive to the millennial workforce. Clearly expressing the goal of the company and showing them how they fit in the process can do wonders for a company’s image. Furthermore, this may also help with employee retention as well. Having the sense their work is important and adds value to the company as a whole is absolutely vital.


4) Training

Another important step to help recruit and retain millennials to the manufacturing workforce is training. Manufacturers that offer training programs to help advance their employees careers often see their workforce sticking around and at the same time feeling more fulfilled. Many companies are worried about offering training with the idea that the employee will jump ship the second they have a new skill. This is a risk, but an employee that feels as though their company wants them to progress just as much as they do are more likely to show their loyalty by staying with the company that trained them.

Not only will training help reassure that the company cares about their employees, it also opens up new opportunity for the employer. Manufacturers may be looking for a certain skill that has been hard to come by, with the looming skills gap this is a common situation. However, if a company takes the time to train an employee to fill a new position they have a brand new asset and an employee has a new skill.


5) Company Culture

All points included above culminate into a new company culture. Focusing on employees and a willingness to work with new technologies can vastly improve a company’s image. Continuing these efforts once an employee is hired can have a profound impact on the image of a company. Not only will this have affect how that individual sees the company, but a manufacturer can be sure that their employees will pass on their experience to friends and family. In the world of social media, a glowing review from an employee can go a long way for not only one manufacturer but the image of the entire industry.

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