Can you Hear Me, Major Tom? Communicating with a New Generation of Installers

Jim Snyder
September 8, 2015
THE TALK... | Management, Operations

There are a lot of misnomers flying around about our emerging millennial workforce. I’ve heard and read words like lazy, entitled, short on attention span, and even antisocial. Cam Marston, who will deliver the NGA\WDDA Keynote address at GlassBuild America next week, wrote of the more positive side of these up-and-comers in his recent Talk post. “The Millennial generation offers three stand out talents: implementation of technology, collaboration, and inclusivity,” he wrote. That, is a fascinating observation! As I write this, I’m highly anticipating his presentation.

It’s a safe bet that much of the collaboration and inclusivity occurs, in part, because of their fluency with technology. Most grew up with an electronic device in their crib (metaphorically—at least in most cases). They are tech-savvy and though they speak the same language as the rest of us, they rely heavily on devices to both give and receive information.

So how do we reach them? What's the best way to communicate to our new millennial installers? How can we leverage their intensely personal connection to devices in the fenestration industry?

Search “fenestration” in Google Play or iTunes and you’ll see a plethora of apps. It appears many in our industry are already on the mobile bandwagon. Many more use social media as an outlet for marketing products and services.

There are opportunities here. If our websites are mobile-compatible, they could login to send call-outs, or view standard sizing, ask questions, and receive instructions. Alternatively, we can push information to them, such as updated procedures, schedules, and images through various sources. If we get really creative, we can even connect with them by setting up closed groups on Facebook or other social media.

What communication tools are you using to reach your millennial workforce? Review this week’s poll, post a comment and/or email me your thoughts.

Survey Results for 09/09/2015 :

What methods do you use most to reach your millennial workforce?






Text messages





All of the above





Phone calls





Everything but phone calls




Jim Snyder is an AAMA-certified FenestrationMaster and InstallationMaster who shares his years of installation field experience as an industry writer, speaker, trainer and project/product consultant for dealers and manufacturers. A member of various industry organizations, Snyder also is involved in instructional document creation and revision. Contact him at