Cultural Change: We Want Young Employees!

A few years ago a large package delivery company did a study that found college-aged workers tended to be more productive, get hurt less often, and were much less likely to miss work due to sickness than older workers in the same job.  These are not surprising results, but it was a major issue for this company because it relied on getting packages on airplanes that had to leave at specific times.  As a result, if a crew was shorthanded or was slow in loading the planes, those planes would have to leave without all their load and the remaining packages would have to be loaded on another plane.  The result was that rather than sending one full plane, two partially loaded planes had to be sent to the same destination.  Sure, this study happened at a package delivery service, but the concept is universal.  Any organization that relies on strong workers who can perform heavy work for extended periods of time will probably be more productive with college-aged workers as opposed to older workers.
The problem is that this kind of work must be done between midnight and 3 AM.  Few college-aged students want to work hours like that, and even more important, few college students are attracted to jobs that require hot, physically demanding work such as lifting heavy boxes, moving heavy pallets, etc. On the other hand, this company did not require any educational background so most anyone could get a job.  In addition, this company offered every employee health benefits so older employees often worked there as a second job. There was rarely a shortage of willing employees, but the company was realizing that the older people it had historically hired were simply not as productive as the college students were.  
At its core, this case study is about changing the culture of this package delivery company.  How could you make these jobs more attractive to younger workers?

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