Bringing Millennials Into Manufacturing

Millennials might be the largest demographic group in the workforce right now, but that doesn’t mean they are well-represented in manufacturing.

While research from Deloitte, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Manufacturing Institute found that the U.S. public ranks manufacturing No. 4 in importance to the economy, millennials chose manufacturing as their least preferred career.

A Sept. 11 Industry Week article written by Leslie Bloom provides eight tips to attract and train millennials.

Actively dispel the myths of manufacturing careers.

Highlight the benefits, such as stability and growth potential. “For example, manufacturing has the highest average wages of private sector industries ($81,289) and highest tenure for workers (9.7 years),” the article said.

Highlight the advanced technologies that drive modern manufacturing.

Millennials are digital natives, and technology is appealing. Make sure this generation is aware of all the technology and innovation manufacturing has to offer.

Re-evaluate recruiting strategies.

Use language that debunks the myths of manufacturing and emphasizes an evolving career with room for growth, Bloom wrote. Also consider discussing work-life balance because millennials often cite this as a top factor for jobs.

Focus on career development.

Millennials are looking for careers with advancement opportunities. The more opportunities for growth you can share, the more successful you are likely to be, the article said.

Consider a co-mentoring program.

Older employees can help millennials and Gen Z employees understand work culture and processes. In return, younger employees can help mentor older employees on new tools and technology.

Provide opportunities for learning.

By offering internships, apprenticeships and certification programs, companies can draw in and develop potential employees.

Focus on capturing tribal knowledge.

“Consider implementing standard work instruction software to create training materials quickly, capture tribal knowledge and distribute revisions without delay,” Bloom wrote. “A major advantage to systems like this is also their inclusion of photos and videos into instructions, allowing for easy communication of complex procedures.”

Implement feedback loops to foster creative thinking.

Providing a way for employees to offer feedback increases collaboration and keeps everyone engaged. It also can lead to innovative solutions to business problems.