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Jobsite Millennials, A Strange New Term In The Construction Industry

Jobsite Millennials: Perhaps an unlikely combination of words. Or is it?

Due to the millennial workforce reputation for slack work ethics, many contractors are somewhat nervous about taking on jobsite millennials. In a recent CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, "Helping The UK Thrive," UK-based employers came across as rather unhappy with the efforts put forth by young millennial job recruits (CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey, "Helping The UK Thrive). The sense of disappointment was so bad that 60% of the survey group felt that they would not be able to fill future vacancies within their ranks.

On the other hand, this criticism for lousy work habits may not be fully balanced. A report from HealthDay News defines 77 work-studies wherein participants determined no "significant difference" work ethic between baby boomers, Generation X and millennials (HealthDay, "Millennials Are Just as Hard-Working as Baby Boomers). See "Millennials Are Just as Hard-Working as Baby Boomers."

Perhaps the confusion lies in an assumption that success must be driven by hard labor and overtime. Consider and compare the following two truths:

  1. It took 46 years for oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller to accumulate a billion dollars
  2. Bill gates achieved billionaire status in a mere 14 years.

Times and ways they are a changing. Technology is now prevalent in all aspects of the construction industry. A need for labor remains yet new innovations continue to enable a more simplified and streamlined approach to every task, operation and requirement. Perhaps those ways considered lazy by the older generation are in fact more productive than any method of applied energy ever previously produced by a single or a group of human beings.

Jobsite Millennials, A New Breed For A New Type of Construction Operations

Technology continues to make new and amazing breakthroughs and in the wake comes a new breed of worker currently defined as millennials. This is their age. They are completely at home with apps, software and even the mechanics associated with the modern construction industry. Jobsite millennials know the ins-and-outs of digital equipment, the problems it can solve and the services that are necessary to update it and keep it functional. As a result, survival of individual construction firms may soon rely upon an ability to attract these new players and to leverage their acquired skill sets, including their ability to operate and repair the likes of:

  • Drones
  • Electronic wearable devices
  • Machinery designed with artificial intelligence
  • Mobile applications via smartphones, tablets and base computer units
  • Software systems that provide Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
  • AND Those things not yet even envisioned for use in the construction environment.

Jobsite Millennials Present Unique But Necessary Challenges With The Construction Industry

We have already addressed the issue of new technology. Other challenges associated with taking on jobsite millennials include closing the gap between seasoned construction professionals and:

  • New technology
  • Better trained but more tech-savvy beginners
  • Experience versus traditional methods of operation
  • A change in mindset and applied processes
  • AND The old work ethics versus the new somewhat less aggressive work habits associated with the millennial workforce.

It will not be and is not an easy change over. Bringing in a younger workforce involves both benefits and frustrations. Make it easier on your team. Take the first step. Link up with a construction operations software package designed to help contractors match and schedule competent and available workers to the right equipment at the right time. Check out the Assignar plan and allocate processes.

 

Rick is a Growth Marketing Manager at Assignar.

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