Manufacturing has played a major role in Connecticut’s economy for many generations.
In fact, according to the CBIA, not only does manufacturing account for 11% of CT's GDP, but for every manufacturing job created, four other jobs generate as a result!
In our conversations with manufacturers, several challenges keep resurfacing that we want to address in this blog.
Challenges such as:
How can manufacturers attract more millennials?
What security changes, if any, do manufacturers need to consider with more millennials?
And, how are manufacturers creating work environments that increase millenial retention?
In this blog, we’ll share tips for all three of these important concerns.
Let’s dive in!
#1 How do we attract millenials?
Making Them Part of Something Bigger
Research shows that 84% of Millennials are eager to seek jobs that provide them a sense of belonging and purpose.
They want to know that their efforts count towards something bigger than themselves.
Check out Henkel Connecticut’s career page.
Henkel’s website is sleek, modern, and their language inspires one to think of a larger mission is in the DNA of this organization.
The careers section doesn’t just stop with a list of openings, it also shows photos of the younger workforce, makes attractive claims like “You can craft your career” and it has videos to prove it.
The bottomline is that placing serious thought into how your can create a work environment that gives millennials opportunities to shine and to show a bigger purpose than a mere "job" is key.
Millenials are attracted to socially responsible companies
According to a Deloitte study, 76% of Millenials agreed that businesses should not only generate profit, but also contribute positively towards society as a whole.
Stanley Black and Decker, with plants located in New Briton CT, has a very well designed website that promotes their company mission, values, and social responsibility.
Black and Decker’s mission is straightforward, “Be a force for good.” Specifically, they are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reducing their environmental impact.
Therefore , if your company has a commitment to an altruistic cause, or perhaps you back a certain non-profit or volunteer as a group, then make sure this isn’t kept a secret!
Millenials want to join innovative manufacturing companies
Manufacturing firms are continuously working on the most innovative solutions to meet market needs. Showcasing your solutions in the form of photos and videos will surely help to attract millennials who want to get in on the action.
Take a look at Kaman Corporation. The company strives to lay out key elements that resonate with the growing workforce and promotes a long term commitment to the industry, something that concerns manufacturers in Connecticut.
These elements are:
- Our Story - Tells the employee about the something bigger.
- Strategic Growth - Everything the employee works on will be part of the companies long term goals, so what they achieve now, will impact people who come after them.
- Continuous Development - Free training is offered suggesting professional growth. Contribution - Providing value to the ideas employees provide and show the extent of where their ideas can be implemented.
- Accessible Leadership - Shows that the company cares for their employees and they have a system that allows mobility, respect and encourages conversations.
- Team impact - Provides support to individual ideas and the potential to make them grow within the company's culture.
#2 How do we improve cybersecurity with more millenial workers?
Improving Cyber Security for a Digital Native Workforce
Millennials take their work home in their pockets or in their laptop bag. They check email after work, review training materials in their spare time, or may want to participate in group chats around the clock. Oftentimes, their personal devices are used for work, too.
However, hiring more tech-savvy workers puts your company at an increased risk for breaches.
Below are a few specific security measures we strongly suggest, however, bear in mind that this isn’t a comprehensive bullet-proof security to do list and that in order to truly reduce risk, we primarily recommend a vulnerability assessment is performed; NSI can assist with this and more if you need it.
Get Advanced End-Point Protection
End-points are devices which receive information from a company’s server. It’s the literal “ending place” of the data that is transmitted with your digital communication to and from the company.
End-Point Protection encompasses every single device that will communicate with the company network. This means every phone, tablet, laptop, or any other device needs to be insured against a breach. Here’s a helpful infographic:
Some End-Point Protection best practices include:
- Creating endpoint policies and usage statements for staff
- Remote configuration and monitoring
- Routing and sorting network requests
- Fully managed, 24/7 monitoring
- End-Point encryption
- Installing secure email gateways
- Geofencing: location based restrictions to safeguard specific data and applications
- Installing remote data wiping in the case of a lost or stolen device
Provide continuous phishing training
In order to prevent an employee’s innocent mistake from enabling a breach, it’s best to keep your staff on their toes at all times, and this means continuous hacker simulations.
Phishing continues to be an incredible threat to the workplace and can be prevented by employee awareness. Simulated phishing testing is the best way to improve employee behavior and involves:
- Running a baseline phishing test to understand the vulnerable percentage of your employees
- After the baseline test, hold an in-person security training to lay the foundation
- Continuously send phishing emails every month to all users
- Provide follow up training for the ones who take the bait, and provide positive reinforcement for those who don’t
NSI provides fully managed phishing simulations complete with the follow up training videos that are both informative and humorous for the end-user.
#3 How do we retain millenial workers?
Retaining the Millennial Workforce You Worked Hard to Get
Millenials are hungry to learn and collaborate. Over 70% also want to feel more connected to coworkers in different departments and experience levels. Asimple and immediate way to enable better collaboration is through technology.
Use Microsoft Teams to foster collaboration
Microsoft Teams is an excellent communication and collaboration platform which allows group chat, video meetings, file storage and app integrations.
Use Technology to Foster cross-departmental collaboration
In Teams, you can create “Channels” which are basically chat rooms with themes of your choosing; for example, channels can be departmental, like “sales” or “marketing” or “engineering.” The benefit of channels is that someone who works in one department can listen, or even participate, in a conversation happening in another building or department all together. Imagine a marketer asking for campaign ideas from co-workers in engineering or the plant?
Enable Workers to be Productive from Anywhere
You may have offered the benefit of flexible work schedules, but how can you ensure they don’t skip out from important work meetings and other tasks? This is where group video meetings from Microsoft Teams comes to the rescue. Get everyone together virtually so that collaboration continues no matter where people are physically working from.
Instant Messaging Means they Can Always be On
Millenials are very accustomed to instant messaging through social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat. Fortunately, Teams has instant messaging built in natively, and it works well from either a desktop or any mobile device.
Team’s instant messaging feature can increase productivity by enabling direct communication and reducing the need for constant back and forth emails.
It’s undeniable: millennial workers are attracted and want to grow with innovative companies. The younger workforce is increasingly dependent on technology and seek to mobilize their workdays at home or travelling to and from the workplace.
Developing an effective cybersecurity strategy is vital to adapting with a growing and changing workforce. If your manufacturing firm and employees depend on workplace technology, developing good security practices and cybersecurity protocols are an absolute necessity. Using NSI’s services allow for a fully customizable, comprehensive, and easy solution to all of your modern security needs, reducing the risk of finding yourself unprepared in the event of a technological breach.