Milling & Baking News -- July 3, 2018 - 32
Milling companies prepare for
workforce generational shift
generated if people aren't afraid to speak
up. To achieve this objective, a mentor program may be useful to facilitate
learning, build trust and help each generation understand each other better.
He suggested assigning a devil's
advocate, one person who is always
going to have an opposing viewpoint.
This approach reduces group-think
and creates less ill will when there's a
big disagreement, Mr. Shermock said.
Remove the fear of embarrassment,
and make it easy to ask questions.
As baby boomers retire, they are
taking their institutional knowledge
with them. That's why it's important
to ensure there is knowledge transfer
ATLANTA - As the workforce shifts
from the baby boomer to millennial
generation, milling companies will
need to address three key areas to
smooth the transition, said Kyle Shermock, Miller Milling Co., Minneapolis.
Milling companies, and the industry as a whole, should provide a safe
work environment, transfer knowledge among employees, and engage
and retain millennial employees, said
Mr. Shermock, during his presentation at the International Association of
Operative Millers Annual Conference
and Expo in Atlanta, earlier this year.
"The milling industry as a whole,
we're competing for talent amongst
From left: Peter Cobb, general manager, Laucke; Kenji Yamashita, president, Satake Australia;
Chris J. Riches, chief executive officer, Laucke; and Craig Doorey, director, Satake Australia.
ourselves and against other industries," he said. "There's a lot of focus
on the food industry today. We want
to engage and retain as many people
in the industry as possible to help provide better solutions."
Millennials now represent a larger
share of the workforce than any other
generation. In 2015, 53.5 million millennials participated in the workforce
compared to 44.6 million baby boomers and 52.7 million Generation X.
There are differences between the
generations, most notably in their
work centrality. Boomers live to work
while millennials work to live, Mr.
"Millennials value experiences outside of work and they value leisure
more than other generations," he said.
But at the heart of it, all generations
desire four things: respect, competence, connection and autonomy.
That's why addressing safety,
knowledge transfer and employee engagement is so important.
Safety builds trust, Mr. Shermock
said, and better ideas and solutions are
32 / July 3, 2018
Milling & Baking News
between the generations.
"As people retire, they might not
have taught the next person what is
going on with a business process or a
milling unit," Mr. Shermock said. "We
have to initiate that discussion."
This can be accomplished through
an internal web site or new technology such as Slack, an online tool where
work groups can organize thoughts
and ideas. Mr. Shermock also suggested having diverse work groups
and using the mentor program to pass
Lastly, engaging and retaining millennials not only within an individual
organization, but the milling industry
overall, is vital.
Because millennials view work differently, it's important to know how
to engage them. Providing learning
experiences, such as attending the
I.A.O.M. conference is one way, Mr.
Give purpose to the job, and provide
opportunities for advancement. Be flexible with hours, and leave since millennials value a work-life balance. MBN
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