The millennial generation has aged into the workforce. These young people are taking on important new roles in every field imaginable, public safety included. Fire department leaders should consider their workforce management approaches to make sure they're tailored to millennials, their skills and work habits.
For example, young firefighters typically enter agencies with more technological savvy than their baby boomer colleagues, but less familiarity with the skilled trades. Understanding this knowledge could help departments tailor the way they deliver information and administer operational processes.
Other examples, such as offering online self-service elements would appeal to millennials' tech familiarity. This could be in the form of time-off, overtime or shift trading requests - or perhaps something that is an annual experience, such as bidding on vacation dates or their shift schedules.
By providing access to these types of online self-services, two key millennial traits are expressed - the use of technology and the experience of immediate gratification. By including these types of offerings, a millennial's excitement can be captured in their first few months of employment.
It is important to note that today's succession management is much more than training and education. The generational change process we are currently experiencing includes conversations about what positions, traits, behaviors, skills and abilities will ensure the highest level of success in the fire services field.
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