7 Things You Need to Know About Millennial Generation Employees
Generational differences can have a profound impact on the workplace. The values, drives and personality differences between CNC shop owners/managers from previous generations and their Millennial employees (born between 1980 and 2000) are significant. This is not to say that Millennials are better or worse employees, just different. Which means their supervisors need to understand some basic Millennial characteristics so they can maximize their value to the company and to themselves.
- Mission-driven. This generation wants to be part of something bigger than itself, but Millennials need to understand precisely how they fit into the picture. Therefore it’s very important that you (1) have a clear vision for the future of your shop, and (2) carefully communicate to your Millennial employees the role each individual plays in making your vision a reality.
- Tech savvy. This generation grew up with cellphones, video games, computers and social media in the same way Baby Boomers grew up with television. All forms of digital technology are second nature to them. The good news is that this makes them excellent candidates to program and operate sophisticated CNC machine tools and robotics, as well as gather and analyze data to streamline manufacturing processes. With continuing education these employees can move your shop forward and greatly improve productivity.
- Crave recognition. Parents of Millennial children have been far more involved in their lives than any previous generation. They scheduled play dates, filled the children’s waking hours with activities of all kinds, and made sure everyone got a trophy for participating. This means they need constant feedback about how they are doing and how much their efforts are appreciated. Tap into this need to build their confidence and keep them on track.
- Work-life balance. Perhaps one of the hardest things for older supervisors to understand is that members of the Millennial Generation are less willing to sacrifice their personal lives for their careers. They expect management to recognize that they are willing to work hard as long as they have the flexibility to also enjoy a satisfying personal life.
- Collaborative. Your Millennial employees like working with others to solve problems and participate in team projects. Look for opportunities to pull together your Millennials for group training, or to work on special initiatives. They typically work and play well with others better than previous generations.
- Multi-taskers. This generation grew up juggling a multitude of activities, which is not always a good thing. Most people think they can do multiple tasks equally well, but research studies do not support this. Millennials are most effective if you clearly define expectations and establish daily and weekly goals. This helps them stay on track and not be distracted by other matters.
- Career growth. The typical Millennial is not looking for a dead-end job. They want the opportunity to advance in the organization, and if a career path isn’t laid out for them, they won’t hesitate to look for advancement elsewhere.