Our last few blogs focused on young people entering the construction industry and what they should expect. Just as they should have expectations about our industry, we need to be aware of what to expect from them. The millennials present a different culture and we need to understand their expectations and what are the keys to obtaining engagement. So who are the millennials and how do we manage their expectations?
Who are the Millennials?
Millennials are the newest group of labor market who range in birth years from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. They are our emerging workforce and have distinct expectations of their jobs.
What can we Expect?
Here is some insight to managing millennials in the workplace:
- They are well educated and skilled in technology.
- Very self-confident, able to multi-task, and have a lot of energy.
- Millennials have high expectations and prefer to work in teams rather than individuals.
- They want performance feedback – Millennials are used to constant feedback so shorten the time in between reviews, and provide them with short-term goals.
- Create a flexible, relaxed workplace- This generation is facing the “real world” later in life, and they prefer putting their friends and lifestyle above work.
- Millennials are Innovative – Focused – It’s important for the industry to keep a fresh perspective, as the millennials are tech-savvy.
- They seek challenges but work-life balance is very important to them.
I have been in the construction industry for about 13 years. My background was production management. When I entered the construction field, it was apparent to me that it was lagging behind other industries. Let me explain. Sub-contractors cared more about their scope of work than the good of the overall project. The louder someone yelled, the greater the productivity. You worked from sun up until everything was done no matter what time of day that was. It was the norm. Thirteen years later, construction has changed tremendously – for the good. Companies are training their people with soft skills. Sub-contractors work as teams so that projects are completed on time and at budget. Coaching has replaced yelling. Companies recognize that employees have to have a work-life balance.
As far as the list above, I believe some of the greatest challenges will be performance feedback and the work-life balance. Projects still need to get done on time. Schedules are constantly changing due to the weather and other unforeseen delays. There are less people choosing construction which impacts everything.
Here are a few examples that we have done to help with the 7 challenges:
- We offered free tickets to the Cinderella movie to families. About 100 people attended.
- We offer classes at our fitness center during the week – boot camp and yoga. Employees can use the fitness center during lunches or off hours.
- Increase communication throughout the company by utilizing “chatter groups” from Salesforce.
- Developing of curriculum of classes for new employees to help with the on boarding process.
These are a few of our initiatives. What are you doing?