Created: Friday, 15 July 2016 12:00

Baby Boomers are retiring across all industries, but our industry is being hit the hardest. Chances are good that you have a retiring engineer and a newly vacant spot without a strong candidate to fill it. Graduation season just passed, and now is a good time to consider how we can better engage millennial workers.

We recently came across two articles, “How to Effectively Engage Millennial Workers” from The Electrical Distributor Magazine and “Engage the Next Generation of Energy Leaders” from POWER magazine.

In the first article, the author, a Millennial herself, talks about how Millennials believe in business and innovative solutions. Businesses have a lot to gain when engaging individuals by motivating their employees and giving them a sense of purpose.

In the second article, a talent-development expert talks about the difficulties associated with retaining Millennial employees. Millennial employees change jobs often due to expectations about how a “career” can look. Millennials also expect to have flexibility in their work and to receive positive feedback on a job well done.

What can we “take away” from these two articles?

1) Engage Millennials by talking in their language: Make small changes in how you communicate with your Millennial employees. You can use social platforms like LinkedIn or Slack, for example. You can also frame a business problem in a more meaningful way.

2) Mentor a Millennial employee and talk to them about your career path: Many Millennials don’t realize that it can take many, many years to go up the corporate ladder. Talk to them about your career path and it can reassure a new employee that what they’re experiencing is normal, and that it takes many years of experience to get to the point where you are now.

3) Give both positive and constructive feedback: Let your Millennial employees know when they are making the right decisions. When you need to give them feedback about something that has gone wrong, give them constructive feedback. It’s important to let them know when they’re doing a good job and talk about where they can make improvements.

It can be a challenge to work with Millennial employees, but from a Millennial’s perspective, it can be a challenge to work with you! Take the time to understand what your employees need and you’ll be able to fill those spots – and keep them filled – in no time.