Tuesday, October 17th, David Peterson, Managing Partner of Plastics and Flexible Packaging was a featured presenter on a packagingPRINTING Educational Webinar! The webinar was titled ‘How to Find, Train and Retain High Value Employees’ and was inspired by a growing concern that hiring managers in the packaging and printing world are finding it challenging to hire and retain top talent. David covered Millennials in the workforce, and beneficial ways to attract, hire, and retain this talent, while Tom Brennan, Chair of the Communication Arts Department at Chowan University covered the topic of Training employees.
April 11, 2017
By David Peterson, Managing Partner and Director of Plastics and Flexible Packaging
At the end of March, I had the great opportunity to attend and speak at the Plastics News Executive Forum at the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club, Naples, Florida. As it was my first time attending, I want to note that Plastics News did a great job coordinating this conference, which offered strategies, presentations, and networking opportunities for leaders of top plastics processing companies.
Aside from the sunshine and beautiful scenery, the Plastics News Executive Forum impressed me from the speakers, to the great conversations about the industry. The theme of the conference this year was “Engage. Inspire. Lead.” and the agenda stayed consistent with that, buzzing with conversation regarding the Plastics workforce, retention, and talent in the industry. For example, Laurie Harbour, President/CEO of Harbour Results Inc., shed a light on the top challenges for Plastics Processors in 2017, sharing that 92% say their top challenge is recruiting, training and retaining employees. Part of the reason for this could be the decrease of Plastics Engineer professionals. This is something that was discussed often throughout the conference, along with the ways companies can contribute to solving that issue. For example, the Best Places to Work Panel gave great ideas for retention, with one being a “bring your parents to work day.”
For me, the conference was especially exciting as I had the honor of presenting! My topic was “How to Attract and Retain a New Generation of Workers” and primarily focused on Millennials and what we can do as companies to bring them into the Plastics Industry and keep them there. Again, this fell in line with most of the buzz at the conference. It was a great experience to speak at this event! Plastics News wrote an article highlighting my presentation here: Solving the Millennial Riddle
The Plastics News Executive Forum was a great event and a great experience this year. I’m looking forward to next year’s event! If you were at the event, what did you enjoy the most?
Managing Partner and Director of Plastics & Flexible Packaging
May 4, 2016
Who are they and what are their work expectations?
The next largest generation is ready to enter the workforce this month. The generation has been coined “Generation Z” or “Gen Z.” Gen Z refers to the group of people born after the Millennial Generation. There is no agreement on the exact range of birth dates however, according to Wikipedia, some sources start this generation at the mid or late 1990s or from the mid-2000s to the present day. As of this month, they represent 7% of the workforce but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed.
This generation is the most digitally connected and they have no concept about life before the Internet, mobile devices, digital games, or iTunes. This screen based generation utilizes technology as a tool to communicate, share information, be entertained, receive and complete school assignments, obtain breaking news, and so much more in every aspect of their lives.
What do hiring managers need to know about Gen Z’s arrival in the workplace?
- They expect leadership to be transparent. Because Gen Z knows the power of sharing and openness, they want leaders to be honest and forthcoming. There will be no place to hide for inept leaders.
- They want leaders to provide immediate results. Gen Z is used to real-time information and moving at a fast pace. They want leaders to offer exposure to new projects as well as show them how to attain a high level position in a short period of time.
- They have an entrepreneurial spirit. 72% of Gen Z expects to create and run their own startups at some point in their career (HRCloud.com). This means heavy competition. Organizations will not only have to compete against each other for talent but against entrepreneurial startups.
- They may help companies derive possible cost savings. Expect a savings by hiring Gen Z. Since they’re transient and want to work remotely from any location in the world, you’ll probably save on office space, infrastructure, and relocation.
- They expect higher education. For the most part, when talking to Gen Z, they plan on traditional college careers but it’s as much for the social benefits and networking connections as it is for honing IT skills. After graduation, most plan to gain higher education and many plan to accomplish this through online learning.
- They plan for idealistic generation. They want to change the world, feel that their work has to be of value to society, and love the idea of volunteer work, which many are already doing.
No doubt, Gen Z will have a strong influence on the workplace and affect both HR and technology initiatives. Employers need to find business solutions and processes that will work for this generation as they enter the workplace.
Are you a member of Gen Z or a hiring manager? If so, share a story about Gen Z entering in the workplace.
By John Yurkschatt, IT Director of Sister Company DCA
In 2014, Millennials comprised 36% of the workforce. By 2025, they will make up 75% of the workforce. Compared to Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, the Millennials have a very different view of what the workplace landscape should look like and therefore, come into the workforce with different expectations. We’re already seeing some companies, including our own, that have adopted new techniques for hiring, motivating, managing, and retaining this young talent. Eventually all companies will need to adjust and prepare for this emerging demographic and shift.
On the whole, millennials are hard workers. But what do they really want in the workplace? Here’s our list of the 7 ways they will reshape the future of work:
Emphasis on Technology. As the most technologically literate generation, millennials find it important that employers keep them connected with the latest and best technology including mobile platforms. In fact, many companies now offer online pre-interview questionnaires and video interviews. Not only is the video interview process a cost-effective and convenient way to screen candidates, it also highlights the company’s use of technology and can help draw in top talent.
Corporate Culture and Meaningful Work are Paramount. Millennials say that meaningful work is a key factor when accepting a job. They want to know that their work will have a positive impact on their co-workers, manager, and on the company at large. In addition, millennials are especially fond of volunteering whether for skills-based volunteering or company volunteering days.
Leadership Must be Transparent and Authentic. Transparency is one of the top four qualities that millennials look for in leaders so it’s no surprise that when they become leaders it is something they will make a priority. Also, this generation is able to smell phony and pretentiousness a mile away. They’re fed up with politicians and business leaders who don’t keep promises and are more concerned about personal gain than serving others. They want leaders with integrity.
Working from Home Will Become the Norm. The Census Bureau reported that 13.4 million people work from home in America. That number will only continue to rise as more Millennials enter the workforce. They like the idea of remote connectivity and dislike the idea of being confined in an office from 9 to 5. They value a work/life balance but expect to stay highly connected and engaged with their employer and team.
Rewards and Instant Gratification Expected. Millennial expectations for rewards and instant gratification are due to their emphasis on connectedness and communication. Technology has cultivated an expectation of quick responses and immediate appreciation for a job well done. However, this appreciation is not necessarily monetary. Instead, millennials want their ideas to be considered, appreciated and implemented.
Annual Performance Reviews Eliminated. Millennials want feedback in real-time or at the very least, on a regular basis. They aren’t willing to wait until an annual review to improve. In addition, they want to know what’s expected of them from the start.
Leadership Development a Must. Millennials have a strong opinion about how they will learn and develop leadership skills. Career coaching, mentorship programs, and rotational assignments are the most desired types of leadership training. Less important are the traditional types of training including e-learning, university courses and instructor-led classes. Millennials want to learn through experiences, rather than traditional training.
If you’re a Millennial, what other changes do you see coming in the workplace? Please post below.