Millennials in Manufacturing: Shelby Phelps

Millennials in Manufacturing: Hiring, Training and Retaining Millennials

Christi Beck-Levicki Blog

As part of our Millennials in Manufacturing series with i-Connect007, we’re now looking at the management perspective and the various nuances with managing this millennial generation. This week, we hear from Shelly Phelps.

Millennials in Manufacturing: Shelby PhelpsShelly is the human resource manager at Saline Lectronics, where she manages recruitment strategies, disciplinary actions, and employee relations. Her role at the company also includes providing redirection for possible resolutions during communication breakdowns, interpersonal employee conflicts, and coaching opportunities with the management team.

In this interview, she discusses the greatest challenges when dealing with millennials, and how she thinks management and training should evolve for a more effective onboarding of this new generation of electronic manufacturing workforce.

Here are some highlights from Shelly’s interview:

I see that millennials like a challenge, especially if you engage them in a specific goal or improving tasks. They like to take ownership in the progress. They like to be engaged, and they get bored easily. The hands-on training seems to work well for millennials, if sufficient time is allowed. However, the written trainings seem to pose an issue. Reading multiple documents posted on the company server, without any way to verify if they understand them, seems to leave major gaps. We need to revise our method of training.

The most unique challenge is finding ways to constantly motivate millennials. It appears their motivation and drive seems to fade quickly. It is difficult to get them engaged and maintain full engagement. Because this generation is tech savvy, training documents where millennials need to spend a great deal of time reading on a computer or in printed format doesn’t seem to be effective with retaining information. However, if we had a training program that included an app on their cell phones with some interactive questions to ensure understanding, I believe we would see a drastic improvement with effectiveness in training.

Read Shelly’s entire interview here.