Below is an excerpt from a piece that was recently published by Julia Stiglitz, Vice President of Enterprise and International at Coursera.
Say what you want about millennials, but they are quickly determining how the world lives, plays, communicates and works. The workforce reality looks different for this cohort. Companies can’t guarantee employees career-long job security, and workers aren’t dedicating their entire career to one organization. Millennials — the largest generation in the U.S. labor force — are free agents in a fast-moving market.
Members of this age group, who typically change jobs at least four times in their first decade out of college, need and want work-based training and development. But employers often question the return on the investment because of this high turnover. So how do you develop a valuable system for both you and your employees?
The answer requires a different outlook on both millennials and learning. Here are a few tips to maximize both their and our company’s success.
1. Millennials care — a lot — about their learning and development. Millennials value training over other benefits including bonuses and flexible working hours. In 2015, retired Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg put it simply: “When looking at their career goals, today’s millennials are just as interested in how a business develops its people … as they are in its products and profits.”
It’s not just a response by the so-called “me generation” to invest in themselves rather than a firm’s future. It’s a rational reaction to an uncertain and rapidly changing job market. Take the engineers at Coursera [Editor’s note: The author works for Coursera] — they are coding in languages that didn’t exist five years ago. Millennials were raised during a time of rapid technological and cultural change, and they must continue to develop transferable skills to stay competitive today and invest in their futures.
2. Discover and invest in their long-term goals. How does management harness this eagerness to learn? Effective professional development for millennials starts with managers understanding their career goals. Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t necessarily a motivator for millennials. Maybe they ultimately want to start their own company or move from marketing into product. Their current job is a step along the way, and an effective manager identifies where their employees’ personal goals and business goals overlap. As Reid Hoffman says in his book “The Alliance”: “The notion of a career ladder is broken … you need to look at your career like an entrepreneur looks at building a company.”
Give employees a sense of control. They’ll work harder, be more motivated — and ultimately get their team better results. Read the full article here.