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Millennials: Listening to their ideas will make the workplace a safer, more innovative space.
Spend a few minutes listening to the news or scanning the internet and it won’t take long for you to come across a mention of millennials. One of the most talked about generations in history are those born between the years 1980 and 2000. Today, they make up roughly 36% of the American workforce but by the year 2025 they will make up just over 75%. So, what can we expect millennials to bring to the table in the next seven years? A more innovative and safer work environment.
Millennials grew up in a virtual era. They’ve known a world full of technology from social media to Artificial Intelligence to one of the coolest new techs, Augmented Reality, where you can combine the real world and the virtual world into one. This means that Millennials don’t learn or think in the same way that their parents did.
They were one of the most nurtured and protected generations, but also grew up in an era where violence and fear was broadcasted to them everywhere they go in ways unlike ever before. Images of shootings, terrorist attacks and even car accidents are delivered to them in real-time every day. The contrast of this protected upbringing and the intense perception of the world around them has made them value human life greatly which is why they might value safety more than any other generation. Luckily for them, they also have the technology to achieve their safety goals too.
The workforce is changing, and so is the way organizations do things. Young Americans are used to being connected to an infinite amount of information, all the time. That’s why outdated training videos and clipboards just won’t cut it for millennials. In order to get the most out of young workers and attract more of them, an organization’s processes must match the incoming worker skillsets.
The perspective that millennials bring is an opportunity to improve the way an organization handles safety. A good place to start would be eliminating wasted administrative time created by using paper-based safety reporting. If a millennial can post on twitter faster than they can report a workplace hazard, you’ve got a problem. Listening to what your employees have to say is crucial and most managers would agree with that. However, most organizations don’t provide a modern and intuitive way for that to happen. By taking sensible precautions and listening to the priorities of America’s younger working generations, just maybe we will all be able to breathe a little easier at work.
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