One of today's biggest challenges is finding, hiring, and retaining good and solid employees. Some people blame the times, while others blame the workforce, especially millennials. If that’s the way you want to go, then fine, but I must warn you that with that mindset, you will never find what you’re looking for.
Instead, treat people like you want to be treated; walk a mile in other people’s shoes to know what it’s like to be them. So, let’s do that for a minute, just to get a good idea of what your employees and potential employees look for when they consider a job.
The workforce is very different than it used to be, even just a few years ago. Not better or worse, but we must see that it’s different.
Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that today’s young people are lazy, privileged, or entitled. They aren’t. Yes, they are different but, in many ways, also better. They’re better informed, better educated, and often smarter. Although it can be hard to accept, they’re also discerning about what they want to do with their lives. We need to take that into consideration.
Young people today want to matter, and do work that matters for companies that matter. They have a more global and altruistic view of the world, and want to be part of making it a better place.
They‘re careful about choosing where they go to work. They want to work for companies that do the right things, so let’s show them we do that.
In fact, our industry does many very good things. We build products that go into products that matter; we just don’t do a good job bragging about it. I am not sure why that is, but that’s the way it is. We have to do a better job of showing our employees that our company, and our industry, works on products that contribute to the good of the world. We make products that improve and save lives, and keep the world safe.
For instance, we need to highlight that our industry contributes to life-saving, life-enhancing medical electronics products—from the da Vinci robotic surgical system to pacemakers, hearing aids, MRIs, CT scans, respirators, and even hospital beds. Now that’s work that really matters.
Other life-changing and world-changing products that we work on include rockets for exploring other worlds and learning more about our own. Satellites orbiting our planet allow us to communicate with one another globally. Computers have completely changed the world, the way we work, and how we create.
Our printed circuit boards are in every electronics product in the world—all of them. We need to get the word out to all employees, not just younger ones.
Chances are, every single employee in your company—no matter their position, job, or responsibility—is the most important person in their own family. They spend at least a third of their day with us at work, and they want to know that they matter and are doing work that matters.
It is our responsibility to help al our employees understand and hopefully feel passionate about that. When they go home at night, they should proudly tell their families about their day and the important work they do, making important products.
There are several ways to spread the message. You can hold meetings and invite your customers to talk to your employees about their products and the important work your company does to contributes to their success. You also can ask your customers for their product’s promotional materials and then display them throughout your shop to remind people every day of the good and important work they do.
As a bonus, the more your employees realize the importance of their work and gain respect of the products they work on, the better they will perform. It all comes from knowing they are doing something that matters, something that makes the world a better place.