Managing Millennials: Eric Hassen on Balance and Clear Communication

Christi Beck-Levicki Blog

As part of our Millennials in Manufacturing blog series with i-Connect007, we now move on to the managerial perspective – what it’s like to manage millennials. It’s a common complaint from managers that millennials simply don’t want to be managed. But is this true?

First, we have Eric Hassen, the vice president of test engineering at Saline Lectronics, to give his views on the millennial workforce in electronic manufacturing, along with tips to successfully manage and grow them into becoming strong leaders.

Eric Hassen on How to Manage MillennialsSnippets from Eric’s interview:

I believe that training of millennials needs to evolve by using technology and interactive participation as ways to keep them engaged in learning new things. Hands-on experience with immediate feedback is also necessary when training new skills. Millennials need all of the information to understand the importance of following the process, and clear, concise work instructions. Managing them requires keeping them involved in problem solving, building their knowledge base and confidence, and allowing them to understand the impacts of change.

A challenge I have is making sure I’m clear in my communication. Sometimes, I’m amazed at what someone heard versus what I said. They seem to have a high confidence when they say they “got it”, but later we find out a detail was missed. Some struggle to take notes. I also find that millennials are not observant and don’t challenge things that don’t make sense, they just keep going along. Another challenge in managing is the conflict between the baby boomers and the millennials. It can be a struggle having them see things from different perspectives, both sides. Boomers see millennials as lazy, unproductive, and careless. Millennials see boomers as picky, cranky, and micromanagers. When conflict arises, both parties need to talk through the issue with a third party to get to common ground, which is easier said than done.

Read the entire interview here.