Millennials care deeply about their development when looking for jobs and naturally in their current roles. An impressive 87% of millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job. Millennials fundamentally think about job opportunities as opportunities to learn and grow, representing the greatest difference between what this generation values and what other generations value.
Have you learnt something valuable in the last 30 days?
Only 39% strongly agree that they learned something new in the past 30 days that they can use to do their jobs better. To make matters worse, millennials expect these learning experiences to be valuable, but only one-third strongly agree that their most recent learning opportunity at work was “well worth” their time. The problem is that managers are not providing the development opportunities millennials want, and the opportunities they do offer are missing the mark.
Conversations about development
Conversations about development are vital to millennial workers’ retention. However, they generally do not have comfort or confidence in talking to their managers. For example, millennials want feedback about their role but they rarely ask for it. They want their managers to care about them as people, but only 29% of millennials strongly agree that they feel comfortable discussing their life outside of work with their manager.
Managers need to be pro-active in identifying opportunities to discuss development. This requires managers to embrace being a workplace coach, where ongoing feedback is provided to millennials in a way that celebrates each person’s uniqueness. Using a strengths based coaching approach in the workplace is shown to improve engagement dramatically.