Beyond Training: Creative Thoughts on Developing Millennials

Millennials will make up 35 percent of the global workforce by 2020, so there’s never been a better time to discuss how to develop their talent as leaders.

Millennial employees collaborating in an office

As more and more Baby Boomers retire and more Generation Xers assume their final career roles, it’s time to look at the next generation of leaders:  millennials. Millennials will make up 35 percent of the global workforce by 2020, so there’s never been a better time to discuss how to develop their talent as leaders.
 
Unfortunately, the buzz around millennials includes several myths that must be dispelled before discussing leadership development.  These include:
What Millennials Want
 
Millennials prioritize three things when choosing where and how they work: money, security and time off. They want to be rewarded for their effort, feel secure in their employment, and still have the freedom to stop and refuel once in a while. They also value working with great people and enjoying the time they spend on the job, together with the opportunity to work flexibly and develop new skills as priorities.
 
The vast majority of millennials—93 percent—see ongoing skills development as an important part of their future careers. They would pay for it personally and give up their own time to do it. Only seven percent of millennials have no interest in training. 
 
Developing Leadership in the Millennial Population
 
Millennials are becoming known as the “Can Do, Will Do” generation.   As potential leaders, they are optimistic, hardworking, flexible and humanistic—aware of the critical importance of work-life balance.  When designing development programs for them, consider:
 
 
Like the generations before them, millennial leaders want to make a positive contribution and work with great people. The power of connection benefits their development, and the more impactful the assignment, the better. The difference is that leadership development has to happen consistently, as millennials expect to stay in a role for approximately two years.  Creating a “culture of continuous development” is one way to ensure agile talent to meet the workforce challenges in a volatile global marketplace.  
 
More Popular Talent Management Posts: 
Millennials: A Generation of Natural Leaders?
Five Keys to Attracting and Retaining High-Potential Millennial Talent
Developing Millennial Leaders: Catching the Shooting Stars
 

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