Communicating With Your Millennial Employees 

Do Millennials Really Know What Industrial Distribution Is?

ICP Welcomes Seventh Alliance Partner 

Thank You to Our Vanguard Donors

ICP Ambassadors Meet Educators at Annual Meeting

Avoid Hiring These Millennials

article1Communicating With Your Millennial Employees    
career fair

One of the biggest areas where Boomers and Millennials clash in the workplace is communications. Millennials and Boomers do not use the same language. Although both generations speak "English," it's not quite the same dialect.


Your Millennial employee doesn't get "corporate speak" in the same way we don't get their shorthand. They don't read long paragraphs or copy with a lot of words. Millennials want their verbal communication fast and to the point, plus they are rather blunt. Yet, Millennials will someday become the future managers and owners of your companies. So, we need to do our best to integrate what is good about their style with what works in the corporate world and help them to better understand workplace communications. Here are some things you can do to help:

  • Show respect for their communication style. Neither style is right or wrong. The whole idea of communicating is to make sure the other person understands what you are trying to convey either in writing or verbally.
  • Millennials are more visual than older generations. A good way to help them get the point is with some type of visual representation whenever possible.
  • Make sure you build in face-to-face communication time with your Millennials. This is not something they are used to, however it is the building block of business relationships and very important to their future and to your customers.
  • Don't ask a Millennial how old they are or tell them they are just like your kids. In the office they are your colleagues and you need to treat them with respect and demand the same respect back from them.
  • Millennials are always asking why, and this can be frustrating, but take the time to give them the answers they are looking for even if it is frustrating-it will pay dividends in the long run.
  • If a Millennial's need for instantaneous response starts to frustrate you, remember they bring creative energy and idealism to the workplace and those are important qualities for an organization's growth. But, make sure you set ground rules or they will interrupt you in meetings to get a response.
article2Do Millennials Really Know What Industrial Distribution Is?

ICP commissioned an online survey of 533 16-34 year olds, conducted by marketing consultant Lipman Hearne in summer 2014, to measure the awareness of the field of industrial distribution by this group. What we found was  approximately 15% of those asked said they had heard of industrial distribution, leaving 85% pretty much unaware of the field. 


The survey went on to ask all 533 participants to read two short paragraphs describing industrial distribution. After reading this description all were asked how appealing they found the field. Sixty-one percent responded they found industrial distribution either somewhat or very appealing. 


That tells us the younger generation finds the field of interest once they have an idea of what it is. ICP will be using various methods, including social media, internet radio advertising and face-to-face contact at the local level to create awareness of our incredibly rewarding field. The more Millennials know about the career options in the field, the more likely they will be to consider a job in industrial distribution when they enter the workforce. 

article3ICP Welcomes New Alliance Partner
ICP is growing! We welcomed our seventh Alliance Partner!  National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) joined current ICP Alliance Partners: American Supply Association (ASA),  Industrial Supply Association (ISA) Educational Foundation, National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), NAHAD-The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution, NIBA-The Belting Association and PTDA Foundation.


Every new Alliance Partner brings more industrial distributors to help spread the word about the many career opportunities available in the field. Each Alliance Partner has two seats on the ICP Steering Committee, one for a staff representative and one for a member company representative. This helps the committee gain new perspectives from each of the many areas that make up the incredibly rewarding field of industrial distribution. Welcome NACD!


article4Thank You to Our 2015 Vanguard Contributors 
We want to thank the following contributors who have pledged for 2015 through December 31. ICP can only carry out its mission of raising awareness of the incredibly rewarding careers in industrial distribution with your support.  Each contribution is important, no matter what amount. You can still pledge your support for 2015 by submitting the 2015 pledge form. 


Partner Contributor ($15,000+)

Harold C. Schott Foundation


Investor Contributor ($10,000 - $14,999)

BDI Americas

Motion Industries & Motion Canada

Veyance Technologies, Inc.


Stakeholder Contributors ($5,000 - $9,999)

NSK Americas


The Timken Company

WEG Electric Corp.


Benefactor Contributors ($2,500 - $4,999)

AMI Bearings, Inc.

Baldor Electric Company

Bearing Service Inc.

Bishop-Wisecarver Group

C&U Americas

Diamond Chain Company 

Alan M. Haveson *

ITW Polymers Adhesives, N.A. (Devcon)

Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation

Power Transmission Solutions


Leadership Contributors ($1,000 - $2,499)

Can-Ross Environmental Services Ltd.

Climax Metal Products Company

Garlock Sealing Technologies

General Bearing Service Inc.

Hitachi Maxco

Houston Bearing & Supply Co., Inc.

IBT Industrial Solutions

Isostatic Industries Inc.

Midpoint Bearing

QA1 Precision Products (in memory of James Jordan)

Regina USA Inc.

Ringfeder Power Transmission USA Corporation

The Rowland Company

Schaeffler Group USA Inc. INA FAG Barden 

Thomson Industries

Webster Industries, Inc.


Sponsor Contributors ($500 - $999)

A.R. Thomson Group

Bearing Headquarters Co.

Brewer Machine & Gear Co.


Linn Gear Company 

Peer Chain Company

Rotator Products Limited

RotoPrecision, Inc.

Stafford Manufacturing Corp.

Transply, Inc.


Colleague Contributors ($250 - $499)

Gorman-Rupp of Canada Limited

ISC Companies

Pamela Kan *

Terry Knight *

Lane Conveyors & Drives, Inc.

MPT Drives, Inc.

P.T. International Corp.

Power/mation Inc.

The Ralphs-Pugh Company, Inc. 

Ringball Corporation

Barbara J. Ross (in memory of Gordon R. Ross) *

Brian & Karen Short *

Tribby Warfield *


Associate Contributors (Up to $249)

Maxi-Lift Inc.

Radicon USA

Torque Drives, Inc.


* Heritage Society Leader Gift


Thank You! Donate Today
Mark Fournier at the ICP booth at ACTE event.
Three ICP Ambassadors assisted staff at the Association for Career and Technical Educators (ACTE) annual meeting and exhibit in November in Nashville, Tenn. NAHAD President, Mark Fournier from IR-G and American Supply Association members Matt Steigerwald and Jeff Hagar from American Pipe & Supply helped ICP staff answer questions about industrial distribution asked by educators and administrators at the two day exhibit.


ICP attends this annual event to develop leads on local events that you, local industrial distributors, can attend. We find career fairs, opportunities for in-class presentations and requests for tours of industrial distributors. Then we go out to all Alliance Partners and ask them to find a local distributor to volunteer. In November ICP had a local presence at five events, four career fairs and one in-class presentation.


Once a student understands what an industrial distributor does, many find the field of interest to them for a future career. Involving the influencers of young people (like their teachers and counselors) also helps to promote the field at the local level. After all, someone can't consider a career in industrial distribution if they don't know what it is.


If you are interested in doing something in your community to promote industrial distribution (and your company as well) contact ICP at and we will work to find an opportunity for you.

The next time you are looking to hire for an open sales position you should consider that many times people hire based on emotion and not on how well suited the candidate is for the position. A recent article, in Industrial Supply Magazine points out five "tells" you want to look for before you interview or hire your next sales person.


1)   A Bad Resume

2)   Lateness

3)   No Mental Presence

4)   Lack of Preparation

5)   Bad Presentation

Don't make the mistake of giving a candidate the benefit of the doubt even though they are already guilty of one of the five "tells" listed above. If they don't have it together now, don't take your chances. These employees will represent your company to your clients; don't risk hurting existing client relationships with a bad hiring decision. Before you offer a candidate a position in your company ask yourself, "Would I want this candidate to treat my clients the way he treated me in the interview?"

Contact Mary Jawgiel, ICP Program Director, or call +1.312.516.2100

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