Keeping young people engaged in day-to-day business is more difficult today. Distributors and manufacturers will need to adapt how they interact with employees if the plan to keep young workers engaged, according to Pamela Kan, president of Bishop-Wisecarver Group. "We need to rethink how we run our companies and how we do work," Kan says in the MDM Interview, As Manufacturing Evolves, Learn & Adapt or Be Left Behind.
For example, instead of focusing on major career advancements, consider smaller, more incremental advancements within the team. "They need to feel like they're always advancing, as if you're playing a game and getting an extra life or advancing to the next level," Kan says.
Distributors and manufacturers also need to place higher value on creativity and innovation than they may have in the past. "There's going to be a big shift in the type of skill sets that we're going to need (to solve problems)," Kan says, "not just the purely technical sense and skill set of the workers."
Creating cross-functional groups to solve problems and work on projects can help in both of these areas.