Tips for Managing Millennials in the Warehouse

We’ve all heard the stereotypes about the generation born between 1981 and 1996 – otherwise known as Millennials. They’re entitled, hard to manage, and care more about their work-life balance than company loyalty. Stereotypes aside, the fact that 75 percent of the U.S. workforce will be made up of Millennials by 2030 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics means it’s high time for leaders to adequately prepare every level of their organizations for the rising generation.

Managing members from another generation can sometimes feel like encountering aliens from another planet, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Close the communication gap, improve retention, and enhance overall productivity with these tips for managing Millennials in the warehouse.

Create Opportunities for Growth

Research tells us that Millennials prefer defined roles with plenty of opportunities to move up within an organization. Considering the relatively flat hierarchies in most warehouses, this can be a tricky area to maneuver. One solution is to open “specialist” roles that focus on specific tasks, allowing entry-level employees to make progress within their designated role before jumping straight to a supervisor position.

Offer Unique Scheduling

Yes, the stereotype is true: Millennials really do value work-life balance above all else, and they consider flexible hours more important than pay. Open up time for your Millennial employees to enjoy extra time away from work by offering longer shifts over fewer days, or by providing opportunities for job sharing within the warehouse.

Focus on Warehouse Culture

Enhancing warehouse culture may not be high on the list of many managers’ priorities, but creating the right environment is key to retaining Millennial team members. As one of the loneliest generations, give your employees opportunities to nurture team relationships through friendly competitions, mentorship programs, and professional development opportunities. Creating a welcoming environment will not only curb turnover, but will also go a long way in increasing overall employee satisfaction.

Provide Recognition and Feedback

Having come of age in the era of social media, Millennials are well-accustomed to instant gratification and crave the same kind of feedback in the warehouse. Publicly recognizing creative solutions and good performance is just as important as fostering a problem-solving mindset among your team. Integrate technology in the assessment process to provide opportunities for Millennial employees to review faster feedback, better understand areas of improvement, and feel confident about their performance.

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Adjusting to a whole new workforce takes time, but integrating these structures that directly address Millennials’ top needs will help you attract and retain the top performers for your warehouse.

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