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The majority of Canadians in today’s workforce are aged 25-44, according to Statistics Canada. Today’s oldest millennials are aged 35 (born in 1982). This means that a huge portion of our workforce is made up of millennials. Last year, there were almost 4 million jobs in sectors relating to logistics networks, transportation, and customs brokerage– and the jobs are growing by 3.05 % each year since 2012.
However, it seems like the generation that’s grown up with trendy brands like Google, Snapchat, and Apple aren’t necessarily jumping at the chance at working in the logistics industry. Reality is, this sector will always need enthusiastic and qualified employees to take over operations, as the workforce ages.
There is no shortage of negative stereotypes about millennials: they take lots of selfies, they are glued to their phones, they lack focus and maturity– the list goes on. Like any stereotype, they should be taken with a grain of salt. Of course, millennials do indeed take their work seriously and they have respect for their colleagues.
There is no doubt that millennials are reshaping the traditional work environment of eras past, they are no less devoted to their careers. Demystifying this generation’s preferences and habits is critical to building a viable future for any organization. Millennials aren’t going anywhere.
How can we encourage millennials to enter the logistics workforce?
Millennials are always on the lookout for new opportunities, rather than staying stagnant at a single job. They resign from jobs to begin new careers at a rate like no generation before. Millennials are even willing to move for a new challenge.
As a result, retaining this generation can be tricky. It is crucial to build a work environment that is warm and dynamic. Of course, the cost of employee retention may be high, it is more costly to start from 0 and hire a new employee.
The millennial mindset might make them unwilling to change their lifestyle for an employment opportunity. Millennials value a solid work-life balance and most often accept higher quality of life rather than higher pay. It may be difficult for some jobs to accommodate this desire for flexibility, due to standard operations hours.
Finding ways of providing balance will be paramount, such as encouraging them to choose their own hours, or the freedom to take an afternoon off in exchange for a longer workday later on.
This generation prefers to be employed by a company that has similar values to theirs. For millennials, motivation is comes from the feeling of having a true impact. Oftentimes, working with a company that shares their ideals can even be more important than a higher pay. The opposite is also true. If they do not feel they identify with the company culture they will probably not stay in the job for a long time.
Previous generations may have accepted working at a job with little more reward than a positive yearly evaluation. However, this generation seeks constant reinforcement from their superiors. It is important for millennials to work with smaller, easier milestones and to get recognition when those milestones are achieved.
The reality is that logistics, transportation, and other related job fields are growing– but their current employee base is aging into retirement. These companies will soon face the challenge of onboarding and retaining the new generation.