You’re losing your experienced workforce to retirement and recruiting younger workers. Millennials might seem like a whole different breed and there’s no doubt they are shaking up the way businesses operate!
Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials (Generation Y) are now well-established in the workplace. They’ve grown up in a fast-paced, digital environment – very different from the earlier internet-free, job-for-life culture.
Every generation has its own strengths and weaknesses. Millennial strength is learning digital tools quickly. Considering the massive digital transformation that field service is currently undergoing, this is a fantastic opportunity for organizations!
Of course, Millennial workforces aren’t without their weaknesses and organizations are feeling those frustrations.
Many Millennials lack the in-depth knowledge needed for their role. It’s not their fault – they just haven’t had the opportunity to build up the years of experience their older colleagues have.
With the growth of machine learning and Artificial Intelligence, “human” research into problems will diminish. Perfect for Millennials! But until such technology is common-place, younger engineers will “Google” for an answer (unless they’re working with a more knowledgeable colleague). Where else can the answer come from?
Even more frustrating is that Millennials change jobs more often than any other generation. They are twice as likely to leave a job after two years and are more eager to “move up or move on” than their predecessors. In a recent survey, two-thirds of Millennial respondents said the “right” amount of time to stay in a role before being promoted or searching for a better opportunity was less than two years and a quarter said less than 12 months.
So, you risk building up knowledge in their heads, only to lose it again!
Develop Your Business the Millennial Way
Millennials are your workforce now – embracing them (and the tools they need) will enhance your productivity and put you ahead. Here are some simple actions to consider:
- Make time for regular team feedback so that learning can be shared.
- Buddy Millennials with older engineers (while you still have them!). Not only will this help foster camaraderie in the workplace, but it is a way to capture that valuable tribal knowledge from your more experience workers.
- Collate your knowledge onto a shared drive, so workers know where to go for answers and won’t resort to “Google”.
- Make your organization a great place to work – Millennials value emotional intelligence and a healthy work/life balance.
- Involve younger engineers in shaping your future field service systems and let them know their input is valued. The worst think you can do is treat Millennials like “kids”. They have a unique set of strengths and want to feel respected.
Of course, the ultimate solution is a mobile, digitized knowledge management system that holds all the technical information they’ll ever need to access. It plays to the strengths of Millennials 100%.
By taking smaller steps now, you’ll be better placed when you’re ready to develop a more advanced system.
Want to learn more? Check out our infographic on how to get the best out of Millennials!