A statement often seen on LinkedIn is as follows: “Your company is Only As Extraordinary As Your People”. No wonder why it is so popular because it is true. Any company is only as great as the people who embody it, the people who ensure that strategies are developed and implemented, bending back and forward to create value for the customer and ultimately the company. Another old saying is “Happy wife = happy life”, the same goes for your employees, keep them happy, and they will take care of your customers.

Companies, which dare to be true to themselves, trust their employees, give mandate, freedom, and responsibility to their most important asset, namely their employees, are hence more likely to succeed.

However, we all can rattle behind these positive words and agree with these statements. The real question is, “How do you actually create and sustain an environment, which motivates and attract people in the wave of Industry 4.0?

The users of technology are changing and at Elmatica we go way back, all the way to 1971. It does not make us dinosaurs yet, but it indicates that we have been able to do just this – create and sustain an environment for motivating and attracting new colleagues, ideas and talent.  Every generation has renewed enthusiasm, ideas, and skills, some are new or improvements of existing and others are disruptive (Disruptive innovation: Clayton Christensen).

Industry 4.0 is simply explained as the automatic exchange of data between systems and Millennials are the first generation practically brought up and with technical devices in all forms and facets of life. They consequently have the most experience with and confidence to part with more of their autonomy to allow machines to operate independently of active human interaction. This combined with the technological development over the last 50 years, breach the way for Industry 4.0, AI, automation and smart factories.

When I was a student and got my first job, the most important was to get a pay-check, offering me the freedom to do more of what I found interesting.  Today’s youngsters seem to have a different approach. Still, money and security are vital parameters, but according to the Millennial Careers: 2020 Vision report from Manpower, they also seek to be part of a bigger picture. Values, flexibility, freedom, time off and working with interesting and open-minded people is essential for Millennials. Said differently, it’s important to enjoy work, but it’s more important to feel that the job has a purpose (Great at Work: Morten T. Hansen)

How to attract the millennials?

So, how can we attract millennials, keep them happy, let them develop and blossom so one can explore the possibilities of Industry 4.0 and simultaneously deliver on your existing projects, which in many cases are still paying the bills? The answer is that you need to create a company, which appeals to Millennials in relation to how they have been brought up, their experience and how they see the world. The beauty is that it is in no way conflicting to how development has been conducted in the past, it is rather that you can no longer say you do it, now you actually have to do it and deliver.

First of all, we all want security. If you are lying awake at night, wondering if you will have a job tomorrow, you can never produce at your top level. Your finance should be in order, though one should also notice that the new generation is in many cases willing to be compensated in other ways as stocks if they believe in your values and ideas. This is a viable option for attracting the right candidates and it can be implemented for both existing and new companies by either setting up new subsidiaries or offering them a stock option program.

The second one must be univocal clear about one’s values. What are they, what do they actually mean, how do you measure their use and how should they guide the decision-making process in the company. This is one place many companies fail, only having something fancy show off values and not actually living the values. If you are unsure about your companies values, simply ask some colleagues “what are our values and when did you last actively use them to solve a challenge?” If the answer is either not quite sure or can’t remember to either of these questions, then you are missing the cornerstone of your foundation, namely values. To attract the best, it is also in the near future highly recommended that one has a strategy in relation to your companies environmental impact as this will be a pure demand from Millennials

Third what is the mission of the company, hence what is the purpose of the company. To induce motivation and cooperation, people need to know exactly what the uniqueness and purpose of the company are. This might sound banal, but a clear and motivating mission statement explaining what your business is aiming to be the best in the world is not as common as one might consider. Millennials want to a part of something bigger than themselves, they want to contribute to shaping the world and they want to know how to get there.

To attract the Millennials with the experience and skill set your business to require to succeed in the wave of Industry 4.0 you need to tell them where you are going.

Fourth and essential to all companies you need to have goals, which inspire and create a sense of fulfillment and happiness once achieved. People must identify with and be inspired by the companies goals, very few are inspired by financial values, quotas, and efficiency goals. However, having concrete, finite, measurable and inspiring goals will attract people who identify themselves with these goals. Perhaps the most famous goal every stated was by John F. Kennedy “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone.” This is a concrete, finite, measurable and common goal, which brings people together and this is key to attracting the Millennials

Fifth and final the Millennials with skills crucial for developing equipment and processes for Industry 4.0 know that they are in great demand and that there is a shortage of supply. If you can ensure security and deliver on values, mission and goals then final touch is to understand their generation unique needs and work requirements. This has previously been solved by offering financial compensation, however, Millennials are often more interested in other aspects as flexibility, more vacation, maternity leave, mandate, and interesting tasks. But they are specifically interested in learning and getting access to knowledge and experience from individuals, which have been in the business for a long time as the question is how can they digitize their current process into Industry 4.0.

Sharing of knowledge

Creating an environment for sharing knowledge will naturally be beneficial to a company as all parties will learn from each other. Altium has, for example, ensured this with great success by having Altium Live events, attracting more than 200 young designers to their last event in Munich, designing, playing, sharing and developing their skills.

Merging the best of both worlds: new talent with experienced industry leaders.  Achieving a good work-life balance based on flexibility and knowledge will create loyalty and trust and is the only two currencies you should want to have.

Didrik Bech, CEO Elmatica

PS. we are currently hiring!