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SMT-May2017

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70 SMT Magazine • May 2017 is allowed. However, the written trainings seem to pose an issue. Reading multiple documents posted on the company server, without any way to verify if they understand them, seems to leave major gaps. We have revised some of our training methods to accommodate this. McDonnell: Some analysts say that millennials have a difficult time being loyal to one company for very long. Do you find that to be true? Phelps: Actually, the loyalty issue is not isolat- ed to the millennials. I am seeing that the lack of loyalty is not generation specific. The days where employees stay at one company for many years seem to be fading due to competitive wag- es and finding many other opportunities where skills can be transferred to other jobs. McDonnell: Do you think companies need to have a new set of engagement policies to accommodate the millennial generation? Phelps: Absolutely, we do need to find new and innovative engagement policies for millennials. This generation is not in favor of sitting around a table and discussing change. They would be more interested in "working meetings" where the task is in front of them and they are actively collaborating and making changes at the same time. McDonnell: What unique challenges do you find in training or managing millennials? Phelps: The most unique challenge is finding ways to constantly motivate millennials. It ap- pears their motivation and drive seems to fade quickly. It is difficult to get them engaged and maintain full engagement. Because this gener- ation is tech savvy, training documents where millennials need to spend a great deal of time reading on a computer or in printed format doesn't seem to be effective with retaining in- formation. However, if we had a training pro- gram that included an app on their cell phones with some interactive questions to ensure un- derstanding, I believe we would see a drastic im- provement with effectiveness in training. McDonnell: How do you inspire millennials to strive more and perform better? Phelps: I encourage millennials to present their ideas to their leads or management. They will be the upcoming experts and we need to listen to their fresh new ideas that promote change for improvements to stay competitive. I also impress upon them that there are always opportunities to grow and look for them. I en- courage them to speak up with sharing their thoughts and ideas. I inspire millennials to work with other teams and learn as much as they can because you never know where all the accumulation of knowledge will take them. No one can ever take away what they have learned. McDonnell: What advantages are you finding that millennials bring to the table? Phelps: Millennials are tech-savvy and grew up when technology exploded with fast-paced HIRING, TRAINING AND RETAINING MILLENNIALS Shelly Phelps

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