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How to integrate the Millennial and Gen Z workforce

Here are seven key insights into managing a multigenerational workforce that includes these younger workers.

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Photo by Andrew Neel from Unsplash.com

The world is for the young.
And, yes, that includes the workplace.

This is why a report on the manufacturing workforce highlights the opportunity to solve the industry’s talent challenge, represented by millennials entering leadership positions and Generation Z entering the workforce.

The report, “Solving the Talent Challenge: Millennials and Gen Z in the Workforce from a Manufacturer’s Perspective,” by Tooling U-SME, provider of manufacturing training solutions, notes that a growing shortage of skilled workers over the next decade — up to as many as 2.4 million unfilled jobs by 2028. Thjis could put $2.5 trillion of gross domestic product (GDP) in the US alone at risk.

Millennials and Gen Z workers are essential as the manufacturing industry addresses this talent gap.

The report suggests that attracting these workers to manufacturing is only partly a solution; insight into the motivations and understanding of the work styles of both generations is vital to recruiting, retaining and training these professionals.

“Millennials and Gen Z workers are vital to the manufacturing industry’s ability to thrive in the post-pandemic economy,” said Jeannine Kunz, vice president of Tooling U-SME. “By better understanding and embracing their strengths, manufacturers can build high performers, providing exciting career opportunities and boosting productivity throughout the entire organization, and offering companies a competitive advantage in a crowded talent marketplace.”

Here are seven key insights into managing a multigenerational workforce that includes these younger workers.

  1. Don’t generalize. 
    Like all generations, millennial and Gen Z workers share similarities while manifesting differences. Each worker is different, and varying life experiences impact their approach to work and careers.
  2. Communicate your corporate mission. 
    Both these generations expect companies to demonstrate a strong sense of purpose; it is important to communicate your mission and show how each individual job, talent or skill contributes to that mission.
  3. Show them their future. 
    These workers want to see their future paths for growth; ask about their career aspirations, institute clear steps for skill and talent development, clarify milestones and recognize their successes.
  4. Provide continual learning opportunities. 
    These workers have a strong desire to learn, so both formal and informal learning in the formal of continuing education, frequent interaction with leaders inside the company and mentorship opportunities is critical.
  5. Allow them to share their ideas. 
    Each of these generations appreciates and expects the chance to be heard and their thoughts considered. Arrange dynamic brainstorming sessions allowing them to contribute ideas and help them see the big picture so they know where they, and the organization, are headed.
  6. Go digital. 
    These workers grew up with technology; move away from paper. Optimize your hiring and training with virtual platforms. Allow millennials and Gen Z to share their technical talents with older workers, which can also create new peer connections.
  7. Provide regular and immediate feedback. 
    These workers grew up with constant feedback, and while they also value independence, they expect the same levels of feedback in the workplace.

Strategies

4 Keys to a successful side hustle

Most part-time small business owners get started because they want extra income, low-risk wages, flexibility and the opportunity to contribute to the common good. However, these benefits are not enjoyed evenly across the many different types of businesses you may be considering.

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Photo by Annie Spratt from Unsplash.com

Deciding to join the leagues of entrepreneurs launching a part-time small business can be a major personal and professional step. It’s a way to stretch your creative muscles, build new skills, earn extra income from home and potentially unlock additional possibilities for you and your family in the future. It’s also a significant investment of your time and talents, which is why it’s important to choose the right “side hustle” for you.

Most part-time small business owners get started because they want extra income, low-risk wages, flexibility and the opportunity to contribute to the common good. However, these benefits are not enjoyed evenly across the many different types of businesses you may be considering.

Learn to ask smarter questions about these highly sought-after benefits to make sure you find the right fit for you and your family:

1. Extra income.

Many people seek a side job with a specific, money-oriented goal in mind. That can be increasing the monthly household income, saving toward a down payment for a new home or going on a vacation. In order to make the income you want, it’s important to look at how much you can expect to earn on an ongoing basis. Look for a side gig that solves daily problems around necessities like cooking or eating to ensure your services are in-demand year-round.

2. Low-risk wages. 

The ideal side job is easy to start without heavy investment or training. An independent consultant business, for example, can provide low start-up costs, easy ways to join and the built-in appeal of an already established brand, so you can get to earning extra income faster. Before jumping on board, take time to learn the start-up costs associated with any part-time gig and how long it will take you to learn the necessary skills to recoup your investment.
“Starting a business can be a very expensive thing,” Pampered Chef consultant Rachel Hanson said. “I was looking for something that was affordable and gave me everything I needed to get started.”

3. Flexibility and family time.

Being your own boss allows you to decide when you will work and when you won’t, but some side gigs require work during “high-traffic” times that can detract from the freedom you are seeking. Be sure to pick a side hustle that fits your schedule and can be done at any time – or even from the comfort of your own home – if flexibility is important to you.

4. Work with purpose.

If you get your drive from a powerful sense of purpose, like improving people’s health or bringing families together, a side job that makes an impact is likely to give you the job satisfaction you need to succeed long-term. There are many franchise and direct-sales businesses that have strong charitable partnerships so you can give back locally while you earn extra cash. Beyond charitable work, look for roles where you are teaching important skills or solving common problems for your customers, beyond simply selling products.

Learn more about opportunities for creating your own part-time business at pamperedchef.com/be-a-consultant.

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Strategies

Considering franchising to open your biz

Opening a franchise allows you to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of making your own business decisions and being your own boss, while working toward your goals of personal and financial independence at your own pace.

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Photo by @cyzx from Unsplash.com

Creating a business from the ground up is no small endeavor. From planning to financing to putting standard business services in place, there’s a lot to tackle. All of that is in addition to operating the day-to-day business.

To overcome these obstacles, franchising is an ideal solution for many aspiring business owners. It provides the advantages of business ownership, but with the added support of a recognized brand and an established method of doing business. Partnering with a franchise like The UPS Store offers numerous benefits.

Flexibility.

Opening a franchise allows you to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of making your own business decisions and being your own boss, while working toward your goals of personal and financial independence at your own pace.

Start-up resources.

Getting a new business off the ground requires a wide range of activity, from site selection and lease negotiation to hiring and training staff. A franchise can help you navigate these early decisions and needs with a deep pool of experience and knowledge to help overcome the hurdles you may encounter.

Training. Even a well-educated business owner has room to learn. With a franchise, you have the opportunity to receive in-depth training in areas such as business operations, technical systems, human resources, marketing and financial management.

Networking opportunities.

Connecting with other franchisees at area meetings, regional conferences and national conventions helps you stay informed of industry trends, discover new tools and resources, and develop lasting relationships with fellow franchisees. The result is a peer group that has intimate knowledge of your business model that can serve as a valuable resource as your business grows.

Product development.

Part of developing your business is understanding your customers’ needs and introducing new products and solutions. As a franchise owner, you can contribute insight to the process but focus on running your business while development experts dedicate themselves to researching and innovating new products and services that can help you better serve your customers.

Marketing support.

Many franchises conduct national advertising campaigns to build brand awareness, while regional efforts and local store marketing can build excitement in your market. A layered marketing plan extends the reach of your marketing budget and lends credibility to your business.

Financing assistance.

Funding your franchise according to your unique goals and background can help eliminate many of the financial pitfalls that those without experience or industry expertise may encounter.

Learn more about franchising and the options available to aspiring small business owners at TheUPSStoreFranchise.com.

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Strategies

5 Tips for creating a business plan

Once you’ve settled on a business model that meets your needs, developing a business plan is an essential next step.

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Photo by William Iven from Unsplash.com

Once you’ve settled on a business model that meets your needs, developing a business plan is an essential next step.

These five tips can help you get started:

1. Think long-term.

A solid business plan should account for your start-up, of course, but also the longer range future of your operations. Consider how you want your business to look five years down the road. Create goals and build in milestones to chart your progress on that long-term path.

2. Write it yourself.

No one can embrace your vision as completely as you can and developing the plan yourself gives you a deep understanding of every aspect of the business, which is essential for good management. Even if you hand over certain responsibilities down the road, being aware of each aspect of your business can make you a stronger, more successful leader.

3. Review the plan over time.

Know that time brings change. The business climate and other variables that influenced your original plan will likely shift over the course of your ownership. That’s why it’s important to revisit your plan at least annually to ensure your original roadmap is still on the right track strategically.

4. Share your plan with others.

Inviting input from an adviser or experienced friend or colleague is a great way to spur new ideas and identify potential problem areas. Be sure you’re prepared to accept constructive criticism to help shape the best possible business plan.

5. Stick to it.

After all the sweat equity you invest in creating your business plan, the worst thing you can do is allow it to collect dust on a shelf. Use the plan to guide you in launching and growing your business. When business is booming and you’re too busy to think strategically, you’ll be grateful to have a well-conceived plan to rely upon.

Learn more about franchising and the options available to aspiring small business owners at TheUPSStoreFranchise.com.

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