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Millennials in the Supply Chain Workforce

Recent statistics from the United States Department of Labor say that workforces are comprised of between 25 to 50 percent Millennials. This generation now makes up the largest percentage of workers in the U.S. labor force, surpassing the Baby Boomers in 2014 and the Gen Xers in 2015.

These proportions are likely to rise as millennial-specific work environments, and job functions continue to prosper. With older millennials approaching their mid-30’s, there will be a shift in management teams and leadership roles, with more millennials filling these positions in the next few years.

Are you ready?
One of the bigger impacts that Millennials will have on the supply chain is in the way the workforce is structured and operates. You may have already noticed that some companies are adopting a flat organizational structure. This means that fewer titled roles are given, and there are fewer levels of management between entry level positions and the CEO. Other companies are breaking down the office walls; going to open, collaborative work environments that foster teamwork and open communication.

Millennials are very efficient; they just work differently than the previous generation. These changes can be painful for older generations to adopt, especially those that value tradition. But it doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, millennials are evolving the way everyone does business. From purchasing decisions to the way we communicate, we need to be ready to attract some of the best talents that are coming our way if we want to continue to push boundaries and outsmart the competition.

The workplace impact from millennials, and what you need to know.

They will tackle problems and find ways to increase your company’s bottom line
The one thing Millennials are not afraid of is responsibility. They crave hard projects and making tough decisions that could make a difference for their company. They search out opportunities to tackle challenging roles in the logistics workplace and want to work in cross-functional teams to solve complex problems.

They want opportunities to grow in their career and as people
Whether it’s moving up in your company or just moving to a new department to learn a new skill, millennials want opportunities to not only grow in their career but as people too. Millennials no longer accept switching career paths and jobs as taboo. Some consider it necessary. Work/life balance is much more important to this generation than in the past. Without being given the opportunity to try their hand at new skills, they will simply move on to a different company.

They want to make a difference
Millennials value working for authentic and trustworthy companies. They’re looking for companies that make a positive difference in the world, protect the environment, and treat people as individuals.

They are the first generation to grow up with full-on technology
Millennials are the first generation that has had access to some technology their whole life. This means that they are on top of the latest trends and shifts that are impacting our businesses today and in the future.

They are innovative and will take risks
Millennials ooze being inventive. They are the first to try various ways of solving problems and aren’t afraid of making mistakes and learning from them. Giving Millennials the opportunity to lead teams in different ways than what has been done in the past can be a catalyst to future success for your company.

It’s no secret that millennials look at work in a different way than previous generations. They aren’t traditional and are changing the way we all work, whether we are ready or not. As they continue to make up a larger part of the workforce, your company will need to adapt your workplace to suit more of their needs. If you haven’t started preparing for this, you should start thinking about it soon. Although the logistics industry may have an easier time drawing millennials into the workforce, because of some of our outdated workplace models, we may have a harder time retaining them.

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