Is Your Business Millennial Ready?

May 27, 2015
  • Bob Chapman
  • Bob Chapman
    CEO & Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller
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What would happen if, during the next few years, half of your workforce retired? Could you find the people you need to sustain your business?

In the manufacturing industry, there is cause for concern. A recent Industry Market Barometer report about the future of manufacturing showed that nearly half of the manufacturing workforce was aged 55 or older. Many of those plan to retire soon.

How are we going to fill those jobs? More precisely, how are we going to fill those jobs with the next generation of workers—the Millennials—who are looking for more than just a paycheck.

Read these statistics about the Millennial generation:

  • By 2030, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.
  • Millennials want greater flexibility, a sense of purpose, and hope for meaningful impact in their work. Over 50% of millennials would take a pay cut to find work that matches their values.
  • Friendship at work holds more meaning for Millennials. 57% say friendships at work make them feel happy, 50% say friendships are motivating, 39% said friendships make them more productive.

In essence, they want to know that somebody cares about them and that what they are doing makes a difference to someone else.

This is a desire that crosses international boundaries and generations; it’s something we need as people. Unfortunately, though it flies in the face of common sense and human nature, in most companies, it is something that is often ignored. But as we start to see generational turnover in our workplaces, the desire to have meaningful, fulfilling work is more of an expectation than a vague notion or a dream Companies that don’t have cultures in which their team members can thrive will themselves struggle to thrive. Millennials expect it; all of us deserve it.

Our Paper Converting Machine Company in Wisconsin recently produced a great video illustrating just how we can give that sense of value to not just Millennials, but all people, when we embrace Truly Human Leadership.

The video features 17 year-old Madeline Vandenack who is currently a welding intern at PCMC. “I’m excited to go to school and tell everybody what I did and what I accomplished,” she says of her work days there.

Do your people feel like they matter? Are they excited to talk about their jobs to their friends and families?

Watch the video above for a sense of how your leadership could affect the next generation of worker.


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Need help in applying principles of Truly Human Leadership in your organization? Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute is Barry-Wehmiller's leadership consulting firm that partners with other companies to create strategic visions, engage employees, improve corporate culture and develop outstanding leaders through leadership training, assessments and workshops.

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