What Workers Want - Editors Note
Construction Equipment Distribution magazine is published by the Associated Equipment Distributors, a nonprofit trade association founded in 1919, whose membership is primarily comprised of the leading equipment dealerships and rental companies in the U.S. and Canada. AED membership also includes equipment manufacturers and industry-service firms. CED magazine has been published continuously since 1920. Associated Equipment Distributors
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SECTION: Editors Note

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What Workers Want

Written By Pam Gruebnau

Article Date: 06-01-2005
Copyright (C) 2005 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.

And what it will take to keep them.

Busters, born 1969 to 1978, and Netsters, born 1979 to 1984 – also known as the younger generation – are so different from most of us, they might as well have come from another planet. So contrary are their job and lifestyle preferences to the way we do business now, many managers have thrown up their hands in bewilderment. The thought of capitulating to the younger generation’s workplace requirements leaves many dealer managers exclaiming:

  • “What do you mean you only want to work four days a week?”
  • “You don’t want overtime?"
  • “You’re turning down the promotion?”
  • “Mentor? Where am I going to get a mentor?”
    And finally,
  • "How can I run a business this way?”
It’s true. They want four-day weeks, more vacation and unpaid time off. They want mentoring, technical training and professional education. They prefer cash to other perks. And like it or not, those generational differences are a reality and managing employees the “way we’ve always done it,” isn’t going to get the job done any longer.

But there is help, once you understand what you’re dealing with. “What Younger Workers Want” in December 04 CED and “The New Look of Office Politics” in March 05 CED examined what it will take to hire, effectively manage, and retain younger workers, as well as what you can expect in return.

To that, we now add “Puzzled About How To Start New-Hires Out Right?” on page 19, which provides some tips on how to give your new employees the best possible start with your company and cautions you not to think that because they’ve come onboard they aren’t still looking around.

All three articles contain a lot of clues to what it’s going to take to create a workplace Netsters and Busters can flourish in. (I have a Buster and a Netster working for me. After they’d read the first article, both raced into my office to tell me how “dead on” it was, and they devoured the articles that followed. When the author of the articles, Marilyn Moats Kennedy, spoke at the 2005 Annual Meeting, they attended the seminar – because they want to better understand the differences, too.)

At the recent Product Support Round Table Meeting (you can find the complete report on page 24), the discussion on hiring technicians revealed that some dealers are already veering from standard operating procedures to creating a more desirable employment opportunity for younger workers.

“We’re trying to attract younger technicians by offering every other weekend as a four-day weekend,” said one dealer. “They work Monday through Thursday one week and Tuesday through Friday the following week.”

“We opened Saturday and Sunday, and our rates where higher on those days,” said another. “The more-experienced guys wanted Saturday and Sunday, and the younger guys wanted Monday through Thursday.”

“Keeping them is what we’re working on now,” volunteered another. “A good solid training program and a good paycheck keep them working for you. I pay some guys more than $20 per hour.”

You can create a place younger workers want to work. And if you find yourself resisting the necessary changes, think about what you’re getting in return. Busters and Netsters come to work to work hard, they’re extremely comfortable with computers and technically savvy, they want to improve their skills ... just to name a few.

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Article Categories:  Human Resources