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PCB-Sept2017

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72 The PCB Magazine • September 2017 Today, more than one in three American workers are millennials, and they represent the largest share of the American workforce [1] . As baby boomers increasingly enter the ranks of retirement, companies are embracing the differ- ences of this younger generation to foster a safe workplace, while increasing employee produc- tivity and engagement. Defined as those who were born between 1980 and 2000 (give or take a year), millenni- als are sometimes unfairly maligned as self-ab- sorbed. Given this perceived obsession with "me, me, me," you might assume this genera- tion exhibits a lack of interest and motivation to participate in workplace safety programs. In fact, millennials place a higher value on safety [2] , and most especially workplace safety— more than any other generation. This may sur- prise you, but stop and think about it. This gen- eration grew up in what continues to be some of the most turbulent times. Such tragedies as the Oklahoma City bombing, the World Trade Center attacks, and conflicts across the globe have ingrained the importance of safety in the minds of millennials since childhood. That said, millennials are indeed unique when compared with prior generations. And that's a good thing! Savvy companies have seized upon these differences to re-evaluate and refresh their workplace safety training and their corporate communications strategy overall. This change has benefitted all employees. Consider the following employee engage- ment strategies to turn millennials into key contributors to your workplace safety team. Sound Bites vs. Big Bites Given the vast array of media options today, rolling out the traditional safety training video or an endless PowerPoint presentation can be as interesting as watching paint dry. Millenni- als are often blamed for having short attention spans, but the fact is, everyone does. Texting and Twitter have short-circuit- ed all our communication. YouTube has for- ever changed the way we think of videos. On- Myths about Millennials: Workplace Safety Matters LAUNCH LETTERS by Barry Lee Cohen

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