By Gerry Mulvaney, European Sales Manager, Landa Digital Printing
When I was making my way in the printing industry, a career path was something that was fairly well designed and easy to follow, even if having a successful career was something harder to achieve.
You started at the bottom and worked your way up, kept your nose clean, followed the company line and delivered productivity and profitability in equal measure. If you stuck to the plan, you were likely to find yourself climbing up the slippery ladder of management and being rewarded along the way.
That was then and today it seems that generation Y, or the millennial generation as they are sometimes termed, those born in the late 1980s and 1990s, have a very different view of their career path and how they measure their success.
The generation gap?
According to the leadership consultancy Cirrus, who published a report recently on the subject, this new generation have high expectations of themselves, of the companies they work for and most importantly, of their leaders.
Typically, they need constant feedback, positive and negative, to help them stay focused. They need recognition of their achievements. They are also choosy about their reward, not always seeing it as a salary increase, often looking for other options like gym membership or a chance to join a development programme or to have access to the latest piece of technology to support their working lives. They demand flexibility in their working day and they question authority and want to be promoted quickly. Cirrus claims that the millennial generation want to make a direct connection between what they do and how it affects the business. All in all it sounds a far cry from my generation making their way in business in the 1970s.
The Right Conditions in the Workplace Can Boost Millennials’ Contribution to the Print Industry
Generation Y are very much in evidence among my colleagues at Landa Digital Printing and it is easy to see these characteristics represented in the team. Encouragement to be creative and innovative is a large part of the attraction of working for Benny Landa. It has led for example to a lot of new technology being used in a day to day basis in the business and also being deployed in the products.
Team Landa across all its generations
On my last visit to Israel I spent time in the company of the team developing augmented reality (AR) service tools, something that will connect the millennial generation of the Landa engineers with that of our customers’ operators.
This generation will not want to log a service call by phone and wait for an engineer’s visit. Real time live analysis of the problem and instant communication is what is expected. The new AR tools will provide the means.
The millennial generation may be more demanding than their predecessors but the contributions they will make to the business world will be far greater once the right conditions for them to flourish are put in place. This is the challenge that the Cirrus report has highlighted and one that will need to be met by modern business.
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