millennial workers

Appealing to millennial workers in the 2020s

Knowing how to cater to the needs of all ages of employees is key to a cleaning or restoration company's success.
Thursday, October 14, 2021

A cleaning or restoration company’s staff is often made up of dozens and dozens of employees across multiple generations. Knowing how to cater to the needs of older employees but also attract and retain millennial workers is key.

In a recent episode of ISSA’s Straight Talk!, Bud Summers, Executive Vice President of Operations and Training at PuroClean, offered some advice on how companies can boost their attraction.

Summers noted hiring and training has been a consistent problem over the decades, but refutes the idea that has been due to the type of work. Instead, he stresses, cultivating a hospitable and alluring environment is paramount.

“It starts with a mission statement,” Summers told ISSA’s Jeff Cross. “You should create a statement that represents who you are and what you do. There has to be something that everyone can rally around and that defines what you stand for.”

A key step is eliminating generational stereotypes and providing solutions that work for each generation and each worker.

“The problem with generalities is that they’re generally right or generally wrong and it’s hard to tell the difference,” noted Summers. “Understanding that culture drives it is key. You have to look for ways to reward and provide career paths for all of your employees across all generations.”

What are those rewards, and what works best? Interestingly, raising wages and offering purely financial incentives is not working as well as it has in years and decades past.

“I think that’s because millennials – the largest workforce in the country – have different goals and desires than boomers used to,” Summers surmised. “We’ve found that clear career paths and the reward of flex time have been really effective with millennials. Also, providing essential training, online training, has been one of the reasons we have attracted not only staff but independent restoration companies.”

Ultimately, Summers stressed that perhaps the most important factor is to make all training, education, and communication available online, on phones, and with complete flexibility. Providing millennials with that shared experience, whether it’s in-person or virtually, is the best way to get workers of that age on board, happy, motivated, and keen to stay.

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