Stray Away from Corporate ‘Kool-Aid’ to Attract Millennials

In this blog series, we focus on insights from millennials and how you can focus on attracting millennials to manufacturing.

We have discussed perks that Millennials look for in a company and how millennials thrive in an intimate work environment . It is important to Millennials that they feel like a person, not just a number and they love frequent feedback. Millennials value a challenging and trusting work environment; they also desire a clear career roadmap. Millennials also desire to feel a part of the ‘bigger picture’ and look for employment at companies they feel will give them a sense of purpose. Foster a culture of charitable caring, a connected team environment and some fun social outings and you are well on your way to attracting Millennials to manufacturing.  Assist Millennials in achieving a work – life balance, have inspiring senior management and a well paired mentoring program and you are well on your way to attracting millennials to manufacturing! Encourage good manager – employee relationshipscollaborative creative thinking and looking beyond P & L Statements and not only will your millennial employees look forward to clocking in but all employees will. It is important to acknowledge a millennials desire to lead and engage them in projects that they can take ownership of is one way to do this.   Don’t expect Millennials to ‘follow’ the rules of the Baby Boomer generation – be flexible, open to new ideas and you will be amazed at what your new hire can accomplish! Don’t play games in your millennial interviews, be forthcoming and open about your workplace environment.  Be clear, simple and direct while at the same time not insulting intelligence.

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Tori Likes Her Job But…

Tori just started her new job at a local manufacturing plant, and she likes it quite a bit. Her colleagues are great, her managers are fair, and she’s doing pretty well. The only thing that gets on her nerves are all the salesy terms that get pitched around. She feels like the constant over-the-top praise is a bit disingenuous.  Honestly, she just wishes that they would treat her like the adult she is.

 The Kool-Aid Problem

Corporate Kool-Aid by itself isn’t a bad thing, enthusiasm is actually a great thing. The lack of a genuine approach, however, is a concern for most employees.

Millennials in manufacturing, and everybody else, know what business is about. They don’t want to be told that everybody is a family, or hit with false, empty cliches. This simply leaves them rolling their eyes and wishing for some honest, genuine feedback.

 Creative Genuine Positivity

Giving praise is important, but it has to be for a specific reason. Handing out compliments for the sake of giving them is meaningless. You need to pay attention to the goals and accomplishments of your employees, and reward them when they achieve something important. They’ll appreciate the gesture and also know that you pay attention to their performance.

You also need to give the praise time to sink in. Don’t hand out a compliment and then immediately follow with ways to improve. Give them time to let the good vibes sink in, and then follow with friendly, constructive criticism in a day or two.

Attracting Millennials to a company full of Kool-Aid is a tall task. Instead focus on a genuine culture and you will attract more talent and improve the relationship you have with your current employees, too!


attract millennials to manufactuirng


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