Many manufacturing operations were initially started by Baby Boomers. This is a generation who are now at, or near, the end of their working careers. This means Millennials will play an increasingly important role in the future of these companies. If you are saying to yourself “Oh, the Millennials” while rolling your eyes, you may want to take a step back. Manufacturing Millennials will impact your business, and probably your financial future in three critical ways.

Attract Millennials to Manufacturing Jobs

You may have already experienced the challenge of attracting Millennials to your manufacturing business as employees. Millennials have differing priorities from Baby Boomers when it comes to what they want out of their jobs. They want their jobs to be enjoyable, rewarding, and working with like-minded people is a priority. It’s not that financial rewards are important, they are. But they also want a sense of purpose and meaning in their employment. An appealing work environment and a team atmosphere is a way to attract and retain Millennials in the workforce. They are very social and it can help to recognize that.

Manufacturing Millennials in Management

We are now seeing Millennials advancing into management roles. In many cases, they are being set up for failure with instructions of “how to manage”. Giving Millennials management goals and targets to reach is fine. Telling them exactly how to accomplish their goals diminishes their impact. A key to weaving Millennials into your management team is understanding one simple fact. They will likely be impacting your (hopefully) growing list of Millennial customers.

Attracting Millennial Customers

Millennial customers are clearly becoming a force in every industry including manufacturing. That Baby Boomer customer you shared a round of golf with or had a beer with are being replaced with Millennial decision makers. They want a different experience. They want to be able to research information themselves. They want an extraordinary customer service experience, even after they’ve done their research. They are likely concerned about the values of your organization including eco-issues. They enjoy using your expertise to partner and co-create with them and they expect your technology to work.

If you haven’t started to attract Millennials to manufacturing as employees, managers and as customers, it should quickly become a priority. If you don’t, your competitors will. The clock is ticking and Millennials are moving into more and more critical positions in business. If they are not a part of your long range strategy, it could be a problem for you. Hopefully, you have some trusted Millennials already working with you to help you along.