The Case of Millennials

Let’s look at some of the greatest challenges when dealing with millennials, and how management and training should evolve for a more effective on-boarding of this new generation of manufacturing workforce.

The millennial generation has high expectations, low patience, and struggle when technology is limited or restricted. This generation grew up with rapid change of computer access and all forms of technology. They prefer and expect rapid change when processes do not work. They have little tolerance and patience for changes that are delayed for long duration. They would prefer to streamline and speed up the process of learning their job and don’t seem to embrace putting your time in for “moving up the ladder.” Just imagine a new grad taking a supervision position in a pre-2000 company still operating in the old Frederick W Taylor process flow with everyone working "the way we always have done it."  The young person would be tied up in knots.  But now imaging you have armed this person with the Lean Principles and tools such as the Kaizen and 10-Second Test Observation methods to spot the problems and know how to fix them and make the process flow. These are the tools presented in the Learning to See The Waste training simulation.

Millennials like a challenge, especially if you engage them in a specific goal or improving tasks. They like to take ownership in the progress. They like to be engaged, and they get bored easily. The hands-on training seems to work well for millennials, if sufficient time is allowed. However, the written training seem to pose an issue. Reading multiple documents posted on the company server, without any way to verify if they understand them, seems to leave major gaps. Millennials are tech-savvy and grew up when technology exploded with fast-paced changes, which in our industry is a huge plus. They can help us stay innovative with new ideas that the older generation never thought possible. They are more open-minded to possibilities. They embrace change, and therefore, they look for fast and constant improvements. They seem more willing to work in groups and communicate constantly. They want to be challenged and are not willing to settle for the adage “that’s how we have always done it.” They want to be engaged with process improvements and implement them quickly. What is needed is to revise the standard methods of training. The LeanMan Car Factory Simulation Kits offer just the right hands-on set of tools to do that important job.