“OMG, LOL, BFF”
ARE YOU READY FOR THE MILLENNIALS?
Maybe “The Millennials” sounds like a new Pixar movie (ok-you are in a world of hurt if you do not know what a Pixar movie is). One thing for certain-as the last work force group known as the Baby Boomers age, retire, and move on, the new work force group, the Millennials, are nothing like the old group. If you know that, and are prepared for that, GREAT! Or as my demographic used to say – “Far Out”. For those that have not given their company culture, policy manual, website and communication system the makeover needed to connect with the Millennials, here are some interesting things for you to consider.
By the end of 2015 the Millennials are expected to overtake the Baby Boomers as the predominant work force group. Compounding this in the Construction industry, is that the majority of the majority will be Latino Millennials. Are you ready for that?
The Baby Boomer group who lived to work, and worked to live, will be phased out by a far more collaborative group of workers who learn differently, think differently, use and view technology differently, and will work differently than what you have been used to for the past 30 years. If you are not ready for this group, you may suffer finding and keeping good employees over the next 5-15 years. We are talking about that group of young people who were born in the 1980’s and 1990’s. That group is in their 20’s and 30’s right now.
For a Millennial who was born in 1988, when he or she graduated from high school, social media platforms like MySpace and YouTube were hitting the big time. Texting first came out in 1992 when they were four and they taught their parents how to text. These workers know social media and are quite literally attached to their smart phones. Most of them (4 out of 5) go to sleep with their smartphones right next to them in their bed.
Part of the main difference is that these Millennials are “instant gratification junkies” when it comes to information. If you think you are going to have your senior people trot out the same “Power Point” presentations they did 10 years ago, and hold the attention span of someone who does everything in milliseconds, you are wrong. This new work force wants their information in 5 minute segments and they are not going to have the attention span to sit through a two hour presentation that does not demand interaction and change every 5 minutes or so.
In 2013, 18% of Millennials do not own either a laptop or a desktop computer or a land phone. They do everything on tablets and IPhone or Smartphones. In other words, these workers are mobile. And that fact is not just about communicating and informational gathering. If they do not have a chance to get the lifestyle they want from your firm in the environment they crave, they will go mobile on you and go find it elsewhere. Pay is not the primary reason for staying in a job anymore. Continuous learning is the Millennials’ trademark. They are driven by the ambition to learn and advance with skill sets, and collaborative accomplishments that they enjoy sharing with many people. Millennials are “job hoppers” and that should make you “elderly” baby boomer managers cringe thinking about training them, trusting them, then watching them head out after three years because another firm has a better website and culture that appeals to them. Time to “get on board” the Millennial train. If you cannot beat them, learn to keep them!
As we continue to see decreasing supplies of workers for our construction crews, we need to focus on where the next group of workers and managers will come from. And since our crews are made up of (roughly) 60-70% Latinos, it is fair to say that your future managers are, for the most part, working in the field for you right now. Replacing a laborer is a tad bit easier than replacing an estimator that is getting ready to retire. So what I am thinking, is the ECA can play a critical part in helping our membership out by facilitating some training programs that focus on a couple of items: 1) getting young people interested in construction work as a vocational career when college is not a viable or desirable option for them, and 2) providing “new age” training and skill workshops that appeal to the Millennials for grooming their skill sets for advancement in the types of lifestyles they are so ambitious to find, and 3) providing “continuing” education to we aging Baby Boomers that need to learn to communicate and work alongside the Millennials coming fast on our heels.
That’s All Folks!
Money for Roads
Sonoma County supervisors on Tuesday voted to spend $13.5 million on county roads for over the next two years.
ECA wants to thank Craig Harrison & Michael Troy of SOS, Chris Snyder of OE3, Eric Levy of R&S Trucking, Art Deicke of Environmental Pollution Solutions & Cynthia Murray of NorthBay Leadership Council. All helped support and advocate for our roads!