Are you struggling to fill positions in your distribution or manufacturing company?

While most manufacturers (78%) agree millennials (Gen Y) are important to their future operations, just 40 percent say they have a good understanding of this group of employees.

Tooling U-SME, a provider of competency-based learning and development solutions to the manufacturing community, has a very informative and free white paper titled .

Many of the baby-boomer generation give millennials short shrift, and we at Tribute, Inc.  take exception to that sentiment.

In the past six years, our organization has had an influx of millennial employees and we’ve benefitted as a result. We’ve found that our millennial employees have a strong work ethic and an even stronger interest in improving our company processes.

As SME’s white paper states, “challenges by millennials to traditional approaches in the workplace, while often uncomfortable, can actually be a benefit to manufacturers. Companies that take a fresh look at their training and development approaches can ultimately elevate the performance of everyone in an organization – not just millennials – leading to loyal employees and stronger business results.”

Tribute has taken that approach and completely reorganized the way we do business, from the on-boarding process to continuous training and career development opportunities, to embracing new technologies and actively soliciting input from every employee.

As a company, we discuss how we can improve the customer & employee experience, and then create action plans each year. Each plan is written up with actionable steps and dates to accomplish the goals, and those responsible provide follow-ups and statistics each month to the entire organization.  

Our millennials have been integral to this process and have provided a fresh and enthusiastic outlook on this change.

According to Mark C. Perna, the founder of Tools for Schools, a Cleveland-based consultancy that specializes in career and technical education, millennials want experiences, whether the opportunity to work on new projects, participate on a sustainability task force or have interactions with senior executives.

He states that companies must help millennials understand how their piece of the process fits into the bigger puzzle. Also essential is having a formal structure in place so that millennials connect to a very specific and bright future both at the company and in life.

The white paper lists 7 Tips for Working with Millennials and outlines Training Best Practices and how to implement them at your company.

Companies can build high performers and future leaders by focusing on industry best practices that help not just millennials, but all employees, feel valued from the moment they walk in the door.

As the folks at Tooling U-SME say, and as we’ve found to be true, it’s time to embrace the strengths of Gen Y. With their fresh eyes and thinking, millennials can be an asset to companies looking for a competitive advantage.


Tribute, Inc. is a provider of ERP business management software for industrial distributors who provide value-add fabrication and system integration services. For more information on software, TrulinX, and our services, visit