Workplace generations can perhaps be broken down by broadbrushed values. Baby boomers, seeing their parents struggle with labor-intensive work, were taught the value of steady, lifetime work with practical benefits like paid time off and insurance.
Millennials, however, have become more transient with their careers. Amid multiple economic crises in their peak career-search years, Millennials have developed a different set of values and workplace needs. Millennials and Gen Z thrive on change and growth. They need it in their personal lives, and they need it from their workplace.
If you’re looking to retain your best Millennial and Gen Z workers, there is one benefit which is mutually beneficial: ongoing workplace training.
In their book The Alliance, LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman and co-authors Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh lay out how the employer-employee relationship has changed.
Lifetime employment, they argue, is no longer possible (nor desirable), and that means both companies and their employees ought to engage in a mutually beneficial relationship modeled after a military tour of duty. In fact, the relationship is moving away from a transactional model and toward one that’s focused on the growth of both parties.
What does this mean? Well, it implies an acknowledgement that the tenure of the average employee is likely going to be only 3-5 years, and that the company is responsible for the personal and professional growth of the employee during that time.
Ongoing training is the perfect way to reflect this changing dynamic and ensure a mutually enriching relationship. It shows your employees that you are willing to invest in them, which makes them more motivated to invest their skills and time to help your company grow.
We’ve well established why you should offer ongoing training to your employees, but the how is always more complicated. Regardless of company size, your employees are very busy and their time on the job is valuable. Traditional training requires resources for travel and expenses, and does not always result in a desirable outcome.
Flexible, scenario-based e-learning allows employees to train on a schedule that works best for them. Scenario-based training is training in which scenarios are customized to the needs of your learners. For example, sales teams can practice their cold call pitches and responses by practicing with simulations. In doing so, employees grow confidence in their skills, and perform better for the company.
Interactive in nature, scenario-based learning is engaging and motivating to learners. In the post-pandemic era, many companies are still working from home. Work did not pause during the pandemic, and neither should training. E-learning is necessary for your employees to continue their training in a safe environment without succumbing to Zoom overload.
Make sure that your training is just as adaptable as your workers are. By offering asynchronous, scenario-based training, you meet your employees where they are and keep training relevant.
Investing in the development of your employees benefits both the team member and the organization. By offering opportunities for employees to develop their skills and increase their knowledge, you’ll show them that you care while also making them more valuable to your company.
Your employees aren’t just there to meet deadlines and get their tasks done – the people in your organization help build it. And investing in the development of your staff is a great way to show that you appreciate their efforts.
When you commit to training as a benefit for your employees, you show current and potential employees that you want the best for them and your team.