This SIG focused on how employers in the Hamilton/Niagara area are dealing with the challenge of the 4 generations in the workplace and also discussed tapping Engineering and other resources at McMaster University in Hamilton.
We started with a short presentation by Thuy Dam from McMaster University's Engineering Co-op program. She walked us through some of the great programs available for those companies interested in hiring engineers. Her full presentation and contact information is available for download.
We were also joined by Rebecca Bourgue from the MITACS program. For more information on their funding available for Manufacturers please download this pdf.
We discussed the organizational challenge of generational workplace issues that are facing many manufacturers. There are four generations in the workplace today, and they are:
- Traditionalists (1900-1945)
- Boomers (1946-1964)
- Gen X (1965 - 1980)
- Millennials (1981-2000)
Some questions we discussed included:
- Are you satisfied with your current onboarding process? If so, why? If not, what do you feel you need to adjust?
- Have you trained your staff or discussed with your staff the challenges of recruiting, hiring and onboarding the various different generations (X, Y, etc)?
- What challenges do you have regarding generational differences in the workplace?
Some of the points we discussed included:
- The average young person changes their job every 1.3 years (how can you give them a new challenge in YOUR organization every 1.3 years?)
- The new workers are highly motivated by relationships and work very well on short time frame projects with a defined goal
- The millennials are loyal to people not organizations (how can you take advantage of this in your workplace?)
- How can you get the 4 generations to learn from each other? Especially the transfer of institutional knowledge
- Use the knowledge of the younger generation to help older (i.e. technology - use of twitter, etc. in sales and marketing)
- Give opportunities for personal development - everyone valuse this, both work and non-work related development
This is definitely an area that all organizations need to think about especially if they are planning on growing. Most organizations have an average employee age upwards of 45 years old. Older employees with significant internal knowledge will be retiring, so it is critical to find ways to retain highly motivated new employees and also to get this internal knowledge with the new, younger workers.
Thanks again to Karma Candy for hosting this great event (and thanks as well for the great tour and chocolate snacks!)
For more information on the Hamilton/Niagara consortium and local happenings, please email me, or call me at 226-388-3894.