Webinar: Leveraging Millennials & Gen. Z in the Workplace

Join Denise Ball from ToolingU-SME as she discusses the myths vs. reality of Millennials (and introduces Generation Z and how they’re different!) to help you better leverage their skills in the workplace and embrace, engage, and retain them.

Millennials are the BIGGEST generation in U.S. history. For comparison, the massive baby-boomer generation has about 77 million people–what’s more, millennials make up nearly half of the current U.S. workforce.

Tooling U-SME Millennial survey shows manufacturing (78%) agrees millennials are important to their future, but less than half (40%) have a good understanding of this group.

Link to webinar

About the speaker:

Denise Ball is a Workforce Development Specialist for ToolingU-SME, an industry leader in manufacturing workforce education and development.  She has served as a practitioner of best-in-class learning and development techniques for the manufacturing industry for over 25 years.  Her extensive background includes workforce development for customized training at Lakeland Community College in Ohio.  She also brings hands-on experience in manufacturing as she assisted her family in running a small machine shop for several years.  For the past 6 years, she has guided the implementation of workforce education and skills training into corporations across the globe to help develop their workforce with success, as well as facilitated workshops on best practices and various webinars.  She resides in Ohio with her husband and has 5 children.


Seven tips for working with millennials

By Tooling U-SME

  1. Don’t generalize. Like all generations from Boomers to the newest Generation K11 (as in The Hunger Game’s Katniss Everdeen), this broad swathe of workers is made up of individuals with different life experiences that color their approach to work and careers.
  2. Communicate your corporate mission. Millennials expect companies to demonstrate a strong sense of purpose and want to be part of that. Be sure to communicate your mission and show how each individual job ties to it. Allow them to see how their talents and skills fit into the big picture.
  3. Show them their future. Millennials want to see their (near) future. Provide room for growth within your company so they do not feel they need to grow somewhere else. Ask about their career aspirations. Institute clear steps that young employees can take to develop skills they might need for future positions within your organization. Ensure there are clear milestones along the way with rewards in the not-too-distant future. Provide recognition with each success.
  4. Provide continual learning opportunities. Millennials have a strong desire to learn and acknowledge they have things to learn. For instance, despite their confidence in the workplace, millennials feel they were stronger on “softer” (i.e. hard work, discipline, teamwork) rather than “technical” skills at graduation. Help them gain that missing knowledge, especially by appealing to their desire for the experiential. Host a lunch session exclusively between management and millennials to encourage conversation. Pair millennial employees with your own organizational mentors or those outside the company. All of this should fit into a formal continuing education program.
  5. Go digital. This generation grew up with technology. Move away from paper. Much hiring and training can now be done digitally through tablets and smartphones. For instance, online courses allow workers the flexibility to complete training at any time of day or night. Different learning styles are easily accommodated through the use of video or ability to have text read to the student. Online training offers the added benefit of providing instant feedback – automated grading and tracking, saving considerable administrative time for employers. Allow millennials to share their technical talents with older workers, which can create new peer connections.
  6. Allow them to share their ideas. Only 28 percent of millennials feel that their current organization is making full use of their skills so provide them the opportunity to show what they can do. Arrange dynamic brainstorming sessions allowing all employees to contribute ideas. Their fresh perspective can complement that of more senior employees. These sessions also help them see the big picture so they know where they, and the organization, are headed. From there, assign them meaningful missions. You – and they – may be surprised at what they can accomplish.
  7. Provide regular and immediate feedback. Millennials grew up with constant feedback from their parents, teachers and coaches. They expect it from you, their leader. It doesn’t have to be a long session. Just five minutes of clear, direct feedback, on a regular basis, will keep them motivated and engaged. Consider quarterly merit increases versus one annual raise to demonstrate career movement in response to feedback.

Look for a our webinar on leveraging, engaging, and retaining millennials in the workplace February 28, 2018!

Download the White Paper on Millennials

Recruiting Millennials for Manufacturing Careers

By Mary Ann Pacelli, NIST MEP Workforce Development Manager

A key recruiting challenge for the prospective Millennial may be an outdated image of manufacturing careers from popular culture and possibly even their parents.  Manufacturing today is increasingly digital and innovative. Companies looking to recruit these younger workers must actively strive to prove that they value high technology and creativity as much as Millennials do. Using visuals along with real life stories and experiences to more accurately convey manufacturing careers via digital channels is an integral part of this process. Many manufacturing plants are now innovative, technologically savvy and dare I say, cool?

Manufacturers must also connect messages to the values, needs and goals of Millennials. When it comes to careers, the many Millennials are interested in three key areas:

  • Quality of life
  • Positive impact on society
  • Future growth, education, and financial worth

With these ideals in mind, companies can highlight how manufacturing careers pay well with advancement opportunities, offer a nice work-life balance, provide job security, and make a positive impact on local jobs and communities.

And of course, most Millennials thrive with technology.  Manufacturers need to look around the plant, make the move to update your processes and utilize new technology so you really are ‘cool’.  This generation will be able to help you improve and grow, if you have the right tools for them to capitalize on.

As an industry, manufacturers should embrace the communication tools that millennials heavily rely on such as social media, blogs, and digital platforms in general, to continuously demonstrate that manufacturing careers do actually connect with those three key areas.

We have to also focus on embracing diversity. Women and minority communities are underrepresented in manufacturing. For example, less than one-third of manufacturing workers are women.  There is untapped potential waiting to be included in the ‘New Manufacturing’.

Multiple Career Paths

A point that often gets lost in translation is the wide array of career opportunities in manufacturing. And just as important, there are career options for young adults at all educational levels. Some examples include:

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Biochemists
  • Human Resources
  • Industrial Engineers
  • Operations Managers
  • Computer Programming & IT
  • Production Managers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Researchers
  • Sales & Marketing

Associate’s Degree

  • Equipment Maintenance Technicians
  • Engineering Technicians
  • Semiconductor Processors

High School Diploma Plus Apprenticeship or Certificate Program

  • Assemblers
  • First-Line Supervisors
  • Inspectors
  • Machinists
  • Office Clerks
  • Shipping & Receiving
  • Tool Operators
  • Welders & Cutters

All generations are unique, with different communication methods and values – millennials are no different. By evolving how we communicate with younger adults, we can better identify the best potential employees and create the next generation of manufacturing workers.

Post originally appeared here

Mary Ann Pacelli is NIST MEP’S Workforce Development Manager. Her work includes advocating for manufacturing workforce priorities with related federal agencies and providing technical support to the network of MEP centers across the country for workforce related activities. Previously she was Assistant Director for Workforce and Talent Development at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network), an Ohio MEP affiliate center.