Blog: Why millennials are dissuaded from manufacturing

Strategic HR

Why millennials are dissuaded from manufacturing

Negative perception of profession, high risk environment etc are stopping millennials
Why millennials are dissuaded from manufacturing

Globalization has given the manufacturing industry a gateway to the developing countries, which has catered to the needs of the manufacturer in many ways. To save time and cost, manufacturers have adopted strategies such as relocating the production to the lower cost geographical area, outsourcing a fragment of their supply chain, practicing lean and just-in-time (JIT) management, etc.

Technology transformation has harnessed the manufacturing businesses to progress manifold. Today with the revolution in technology, the players in the manufacturing industry have experienced a boost in productivity with lower cost. To get the top line status of the overall plant and to monitor the stock inventories and prices has become a least-effort task.

The innovation and transformation is opening new opportunities for the manufacturer, but at the same time a rift is slowing surfacing due to the scarcity of the right talent, which is frightening and threatens the future vitality of this sector. Challenges such as sourcing and retaining talents, competency gaps and managing the multi-generational workforce, especially the Millennial, continue to be the concern of the manufacturer.

Today’s manufacturing industry workforce age group is 40 years and above (Gen X and Baby Boomers). With the higher percentage of the next generation known as Millennial (Gen Y) coming into the workforce, the older generation will be slowly fading away. The millennial wants a meaningful work and a robust learning curve.

The factors that dissuades the potential Millennial from joining the manufacturing industry is the negative perception of the profession, high risk work environment, shift patterns etc. as a result of which today a small fraction of workforce represents the young generation. The Millennial is fascinated towards the technology/IT businesses due to big fat salary, techy offices/infrastructure, flexible work schedules, teleworking, attractive benefits and above all a status icon of being an IT professional.

Despite of the challenges, manufacturing industry continues to be a vital part of economy and contributes to the significant portion in terms of GDP and employment. Hence, with the changing landscape and the personality traits of the millennial the manufacturing businesses should adopt competitive and unique strategies/approach as detailed below to attract and retain the young generation.

Branding and sourcing through social media

Social media brings the world closer. It helps to reach out on larger community in a lesser cost and time. You could promote your brand through your consumer by keeping them involved and connected. Sourcing through social media brings more option on your table with a 360-degree view of the person we are hiring.

Competency and generation-based approach to hiring

With multi-generation workforce, the conservative selecting criteria will fail to provide us the results and meet the business objectives. The competency and generation-based approach will help us to get the right and the best-fit candidates on board. If the organization does not have the in-house capability to conduct such interviews, they should be open to invest on external source. In the long run, the investment will be fruitful.

Competitive compensation and benefits

Structure your salary and choose the salary components in such a way that employees can enjoy tax benefit. Well-defined benefits based on cadre/level. Apart from monetary benefits, add benefits such as flexible work hours, sponsor vacations for your key staff (if not 100%, at least 50%), deliver flower bouquet at home for their wedding anniversary etc. These are small investment with great impact on the employee’s family as well.

Progressive, innovative, learning and collaborative culture

Today’s generation has a want and thirst for progress and innovation in every step of their career. To quench their thirst for progress and innovation, the entrepreneurs and their budding leaders should encourage tasks, thoughts and ideas which could make a difference and also create a platform to explore more and continuous learning through collaboration.

Technology Advancement

In today’s fast-paced environment, it is difficult for the business to sustain successfully and to retain the new generation without technology advancement. Technology could be the only way to bring in a process-driven and centralized approach, where less time is spent in operational activity and more time for innovation and strategies.

Attractive reward and recognition

Millennial needs instant gratification and recognition. While interviewing, the importance of their role and contribution should be communicated to them, as they are the generation who always look forward for importance. Any reward and recognition should be on time without much delay otherwise it would loose its importance and will carry no meaning.

Succession Planning

A clear and systematic career development plan should be on their table from day one of their joining as they have a need for continuous and fast growth. Also, it will keep them motivated and satisfied as they have a clear growth plan and road map to move forward.

Leaders should step up in the new innovation era to share their passion to the millennial

Every fortnight or month, top leaders should encourage group discussion or interactive session where leaders could share their future growth plan, strategies and innovation. This will bring in more clarity; the team will feel connected and engaged.

Adopt behavior-based approach to H&S (Health and Safety)

Every manufacturer’s concern is H&S. The only way to attract the millennial is to strive towards H&S oriented organization is the behavior-based approach, which is a change in the mindset. Applied behavior analysis, timely situational training and introducing rewards and recognition attached to the change in behavior will definitely help.

The focus is to overcome the retention and employment challenges and the effort to create a right connect between the manufacturer and millennial. The way forward is to adapt the leading practices/approaches to retain and attract right talent.

Let us start the journey of transformation today…………….

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Topics: Strategic HR, #Jobs

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