People want to feel like they’re making a valuable contribution, and they’ll be more loyal to the company that provides them with this feeling. By sharing your company’s “wins” with everyone and celebrating its successes together, you can show people that they are a valued member of the team.
Ask People What They Want
This advice is deceptively simple, and all too often goes undone. If you ask people what could make them happier at work, the answers you get will vary from person to person. Some people may want more money, others may want extra vacation time, and others may have good ideas about how to make their jobs easier. You might be surprised by how simple some of the requests will be to meet.
Offer Genuine Recognition and Celebrate Teamwork
This is not to say we advocate the “everyone gets a trophy for everything” approach. If you have a record-breaking month, let everyone know and recognize the teams that made it happen. Did the sales department go all-out? Did production amp up to meet extra demand? Celebrating big wins can inspire a sense of pride and build positive momentum moving forward. Offer a sense of purpose, ask for input, and celebrate big wins.
Generation Z Is on the Way!
Z is the generation that grew up with smartphones. They’re turning 18 (or 22, depending on whose definition you use), and they’re starting to enter the workforce.
Generational expert Amy Lynch is optimistic about whether Generation Z (or GenEdge as she calls them) will be interested in manufacturing. On her blog, she writes, “It’s pretty clear that GenEdge will show up and perform in the manufacturing sector… companies that ally with school systems to educate GenEdge now will create an advantage for themselves in the labor market soon.”
Reach the Younger “Z’s” Now
The time to appeal to the younger Gen-Z’s is right now.
Here are a few ideas:
If your company uses welders, try to find a local Boy Scout organization, and offer to help with the welding merit badge. The requirements for the badge include finding out about careers in welding and explaining why the profession might be of interest.
You can also support the STEM programs for local Girl Scouts. The 2016 report How Girl Scout STEM Programs Benefit Girls revealed that the Girl Scouts’ FIRST Robotics program increased participants’ interest in science or engineering.
Connect With Local Schools
In a New York Times article entitled “Make Way for Generation Z,” author Alexandra Levit advises “Those who want to take advantage of Gen Z talent in the future need to develop relationships today with teenagers in grades seven through 12. Get into their schools, provide mentorship and education, and put yourself in a position to help shape their career decisions.”
To help you work with schools and set up classroom visits and facility tours, check out the Ambassador Kit created by the Manufacturing Institute. It’s available for download here.
Use an Approachable, Conversational Tone in Social Media and Recruiting
What do your company’s promotional materials look like? Do you have YouTube videos? Is your website approachable and personable? When people from Gen Z check you out, what do they find online? The answers to these questions are more important to Generation Z than they were to previous generations who relied on word of mouth and networking. This increased reliance on social media and online information can be good news if you take advantage of the opportunity to update your image to appeal to this up-and-coming generation.
Focus on Solutions
The winners in the competition for skilled workers will be those who focus on solutions and strategies, not those who look for excuses and reasons to explain why it’s so hard.
Many strategies and resources are available to help manufacturers connect with people who want to work. Implement the solutions that are in your reach now, and set up strategies to expand your reach to fill your recruiting needs in the future.
Get the eBook exploring the skills gap, with a focus on solutions and strategies to close and fill the gap. We’ll explore the answers to questions you might have right now.