How to Attract Gen Z to Manufacturing

In 2018, 70 percent of Americans believed the manufacturing industry was on the decline. That number decreased to only 54% in 2019, showing that more people now have a better understanding of the state of the industry. In particular, Gen Z may be the manufacturing industry’s answer.

Studies have shown that Generation Z is more interested in manufacturing jobs than previous generations. This can be attributed to greater exposure to manufacturing and a perspective that this industry is a viable career. Manufacturers should understand what Generation Z expects from their job and the best ways to engage this newest population in the workforce.

Gen Z Expectations in the Workplace

Generation Z has expectations for their future employer, and will work elsewhere if those are not met. Members of this generation will work hard when an employer clearly aims to meet their needs. They desire schedule flexibility and work-life balance. Generation Z is especially equipped at teamwork, meeting deadlines and working with customers, so employers should play to these strengths.

Generation Z wants to feel supported by management. They need managers who trust them, value their work and support their efforts. They also appreciate communication with their employers and want to experience a strong company culture.

How to Increase Manufacturing Hiring in Gen Z

Here are three steps your company can take to attract Gen Z to manufacturing:

1. Increase Workplace Technology

Gen Z is the most tech-savvy generation yet, so their work needs to use new technology. This means using the latest technology available in manufacturing. Gen Z will not tolerate outdated technology that inhibits their job. In addition, they prefer to use technology for tasks like swapping shifts and updating schedule preferences to bypass manager approval and create a work-life balance.

2. Show Your Employees That You Care

Since your employees will spend a lot of time at work, take the time to show them that you care. Managers need to recognize employees’ hard work. You can choose your preferred recognition method, like providing a cash incentive or a new job title. Even a simple “thank you” can make all the difference for your Gen Z employees. You may also consider asking your employees for feedback to improve job processes.

3. Build a Work Culture of Trust and Reliability

Gen Z appreciates open and continuous communication with their employers. Your company can provide this communication through regular check-ins to talk about job performance and advancement. This transparency will help both managers and employees know where they stand and encourage Gen Z workers to do their jobs better.

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