Update Your Workplace Rules 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!


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Jim’s Problem With His Dad’s Work Environment

Jim remembers his dad talking about his job; he didn’t say much but when he did it you knew it came from keen observations that had been building inside him for months.  Dad’s observation was that management was so far removed from what was going on “on the floor” that no one listened to one another and therefore no change took place – ever. It was a strict environment: do your job, have a couple short, timed breaks and then back to work again. It was a mentality of ‘put your time in with long hours and don’t rock the boat’.  That is just what baby boomers did and thrived on.  As Jim looks back he wonders how his dad did it and how he can avoid it.

A Far Cry From What A Millennial Seeks

As we’ve been discussing in previous posts in our Insights for Attracting Millennials Series, this scenerio is far from what millennials are looking for in the workplace.

Unfortunately, it is still a reality in many industries and it comes from two things:

  1. Not willing to trust change.
  2. Management structure managing rules instead of leading innovation.

When a business is in its startup phase, it is easier to have less structure.  As a business grows guidelines and policies are set in place.  Find a balance and allow for individuals to take ownership of projects.  Yes, mistakes may happen but your employee will grow from them and so will your business.  Give your employees an environment where they can openly discuss new ideas.  Many industries boast that they are doing this, but is it really done?  It’s human nature to want to take the next step forward but also want to protect your business. Innovation will not happen though, until you take that step.

Accomplish More By Loosening the Reigns

Companies are changing as baby boomers retire and millennials are put into leadership roles.  Millennials may be labeled as a privledged and entitled generation but when it comes down to it they just want their voice heard. They don’t want to be measured on how many hours they put in, they want to make an impact.  Time is a commodity Millenials place in high value – give them the reigns and flexibility to oversee a project and not only will they accomplish it – they will put their heart and soul into it.


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