Bridging the Generation Gap: 5 Ways Not to Get Caught Scrambling for Talent
Written by Romeo Belisle July 2nd 2017
    In this case generation gaps are a good thing if they are not too far apart. You want to see generation gaps in every area of your organization. If everyone is the same age, then you either have too much experience or not enough on your shop floor. The trend as of late is called “Grey Hair Shops”. Baby boomers are starting to retire in droves. Machinists are one occupation that has a big generation gap. Don’t be the shop that waits to the last minute to address this problem.
 1) Access your situation: Do a walk through and take notice of any generation gaps. Pull your Leaders together and talk about any generational gaps that they can see in your organization. These are the people that you want to hear from because they are fighting your battles daily. These are the people that are closest to your team in most cases. How large are the gaps? If you truly believe that people are your strongest asset then take inventory of the generation gap.
 2) Always have a backup plan for every job in your organization: Cross training is healthy for any organization no matter what the situation. People go on vacations, see doctors and get sick. If there is a job that so and so is the only person in your organization that knows how to do it, then you have a problem. Layout on paper who is the primary person and who is their backup. Start the training process. The training process will not be completed overnight. Start with more important tasks and maybe one to two hours per week.
 3) Weekly Training: Set aside one hour per week in every department for a one hour training. Have your department managers decide what topics will be trained on for each week. Start slow and don’t make it an overwhelming chore. Start with the basics for each department and have an outline of each training session so they can be easily repeated. I would recommend video recording these training sessions so you can start a library of training videos for every department. 2nd and 3rd shifts can view these training videos as well.
 4) No need to panic: I say, “no need to panic” because it takes on average 10,800 hours to become good at something. This number is about 5 years of a 40-hour week of work. Machinist take a little longer than most, about 7 years. Here’s the good news, machining is not rocket science. I know because I made a living machining for 30 years.
 5) Work ethic is #1: We hear a constant drum of how the younger generations are getting lazier and lazier. Look back to when you got out of high school. Are you any different than you are now? Of course, you are. How can you not be? It all depends how long ago high school was, right? Yes, generations change over the years and it seems like the work ethics have slipped. Every generation has had its work ethic issues that the older generation doesn’t approve of. Don’t let this stop you from bridging the generation gap. Find some mentors in your organization and team them up with your up and coming.

Romeo Belisle

Romeo Belisle helps manufacturers find qualified machinists that have strong work ethic. He is an expert at Digital Recruiting Techniques which will attract qualified machinists towards your company.
If you're interested in in finding qualified machinists that can help build your business into something you can be proud of, then request a free strategy session today.
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