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If you think training stops at onboarding, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
Training is about so much more than getting new hires up to speed—it’s an investment that you make in your employees.
More than ever, employees are valuing the personal and professional growth that an organization can offer them. In fact, Millennials are more likely to view their jobs as opportunities for growth than any previous generation.
Millennial employees are lifelong learners and a well structured training program can help unlock your team’s passion for learning and push them to achieve more. Training goes hand in hand with employee development and, if you focus on leveling up your team, you’ll see the investment that you make in them returned tenfold.
Why Millennials Care About Ongoing Development
The reasons that motivate Millennials to care about learning and development have a lot to do with the way that they view work. For Millennials, a job isn’t just something you do; it’s a reflection of self.
Since Millennials place so much emphasis on the role that their work plays in forming their identities, they seek out opportunities that give them a sense of purpose and fulfillment. They want careers that make them they feel valuable to an organization and like they’re having a real impact on its overall business goals.
You won’t be able to find those things in a job description. Instead, those pieces will come through in the way that you approach your team’s work on an everyday basis. And that means investing in their professional growth.
Identifying Opportunities for Ongoing Development
Giving your team the right resources and guidance goes beyond training in their individual disciplines, it also means looking at their trajectory as a whole and identifying the challenges that they may be facing.
Maybe they’re struggling to organize their direct reports as a new manager or searching for ways to grow as a junior team member. Ongoing development should be built around empowering your employees to handle changes in their career and helping them grow their technical skills.
Even though training design is often looked at as improving an organization on a high level, it really starts at the most granular level. The individual.
You need to pay close attention to how employees work currently and what they want to do next. Employee feedback tools like Officevibe and Culture Amp can help you get a better understanding, but it’s important to sit down and talk to the people that you work with too.
Book one-on-one meetings and get some face time with people across the organization. Find out where they’re hitting roadblocks or where they’re looking to improve, then build programs that help them get there.
Why Ongoing Learning and Development Should Matter to You
It attracts the best and brightest. People who are interested in continuous learning are ambitious and motivated to do their best work. To many, opportunities to learn are actually seen as a perk. This is especially true for millennials; according to this Gallup survey, 87% of Millennials reported they wanted their jobs to offer employee development.
It promotes employee engagement. It keeps their minds sharp and filled with fresh ideas. Ongoing development can encourage employees to think differently about the work that they’re doing and focus on where they could be headed in the future.
It improves retention. Investing in your employees makes them feel valued and creates a sense of loyalty. Most Millennials leave their jobs because of boredom or because they don't see any opportunities for advancement. This means that employees no longer climb the ranks at a single company over the course of their careers. Instead, job-hopping is seen as the primary path to new opportunities: 93% of Millennials had to leave their previous company to switch roles.
It gives you a competitive edge. A constant focus on learning in the workplace keeps your team up-to-date with industry trends. Often, the onus falls on individuals to stay current, but you can’t rely on that. Treat training sessions as an opportunity to educate and inform your staff about where your business needs to be headed.
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