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Millennials, Grow Them or Lose Them

Updated: Nov 2, 2018

Your Future is Millennials – Grow Them or Lose Them

The future of your business depends on young professionals (19-35 years old). Millennials are the biggest generation in history and like it or not they are your new leaders, staff and customers. If you want to:

  • attract them,

  • keep them, &

  • get the best from them,

then you need to engage them on their terms.

According to a recent Harvard Business Report continuously training & developing them is key. The article outlines the top three reasons Millennials say traditional learning and development programs are failing:

  1. Poor content - Millennials are 3.4x more likely than Baby Boomers to cite poor content as a barrier.

  2. Not enough external thinking and expertise - Millennials are 2.3x more likely than Baby Boomers to cite lack of external expertise as a barrier.

  3. No application to on-the-job requirements - Millennials are 1.3x more likely than Boomers to cite lack of job application as a barrier.

Further, it says 71 percent of Millennials who are likely to leave an organization in two years cite their dissatisfaction with how their leadership and professional skills are being developed, and companies not improving their development programs to fit Millennials. This will be disastrous for organizations that will not be able to attract and retain the best new talent.

The answer is obvious; evolve how and what types of professional growth, training and development fwe provide for millennials. This is the easiest and most effective way to engage and keep them. Simply put, grow them or lose them. Most organizations traditionally focus on developing technical skills; but young professionals want to develop leadership & soft skills. The challenge is they learn, act & socialize differently & training needs to fit them. According to the HBR report and supported by similar reports by PWC and Makenzie, training specifically designed to engage young professionals needs to be:

  1. Focused, multimodal & collaborative in design

  2. Relevant to their immediate needs

  3. Purpose driven, explaining “Why”; not just what & how

  4. "Chill”; relaxed & safe

  5. Personal; instructors building rapport by listening & focusing on them

With this in mind, we need to provide Millennials with training and development that is collaborative, relevant and experiential. In terms of relevance, Millennials believe that adaptability and emotional intelligence are the most important skills that they need to develop to succeed in their future. They want training in leadership, communications, team effectiveness, personal effectiveness, strategic planning, innovation, managing change, making yourself promotable & other soft skills that will enable them to grow. The rate of change Millennials will have to deal with is beyond anything other generations have ever faced and it means they will be continuously learning, growing and adapting throughout their entire careers to stay relevant and succeed. Smart organizations recognize this and are evolving their learning and development programs to grow their young professionals so they don't lose them. What are you doing?

These are ideas you need to consider to grow and retain your Millennial talent. If you like them, please pass it on. If you’d like a free Millennial Development Workshop, contact us.

Brad Gaulin, P.Eng., MBA

Chief Evolution Officer

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