Millennials: eLearning Is Real

This is a guest post by Tarun Reddy, Digital Marketing Manager at 16best.net, expert in Market Research, SEO, Inbound marketing, content marketing, and lead generation. tarun@16bestco.com

Technology has surely come a long way. Who’d have thought online schooling could be a full blown actuality? Yet, eLearning today is changing our lives for the better. Millennials stand to benefit the most from this digital revolution. The first generation to grow up with technology in its truest sense, they know the world is not bound by geography or time anymore. Anything they want is just a click away. And let it be known, these digital natives are not just about unicorn frappuccinos and Snapchat; self-development and knowledge rank very high on their lists.

eLearning is just what it sounds like. It’s the use of electronic technology for educational purposes, shifting the concept of traditional classrooms to our favorite digital devices. We’ve all heard of Coursera and Udemy. These eLearning platforms have opened a vista of opportunities for those willing to learn. Be it graphic designing or medical science, theater acting or corporate leadership, writing fiction or an academic thesis – there’s nothing you can’t find on these sites. Although did you know the seeds of eLearning have been around for much longer? We’re talking about Plato. Not the ancient Greek philosopher but the first computer assisted instruction (CAI) system. Created in 1960 by Donald L. Bitzer, schools and businesses have had a long history of using CAI. But it wasn’t until the 2000s and the global explosion of social networking sites that eLearning truly took off.

Today, this industry is worth a whopping $165 billion. North America accounts for most of the revenue, but other regions are catching up fast. In this day and age, when information is power, nobody can afford the damage caused by a stagnant skill set. Evolving with the times is a necessity. And nobody knows how to do this better than the millennials.

eLearning And Millennials: A Perfect Match

These two are truly a match made in heaven. Here’s why.

The term millennial refers to anyone born in the timeframe between the early 1980s and the early 2000s – right when technology was booming. Unlike others of the previous generations who had to learn to work their way around even basic technology, these young kids are, it seems, born with the genes. With a pen and paper, they may falter a little but give them a digital screen and they will shine. This inclination towards anything that is technology means they are all for the concept of eLearning.

We all know how hyper-connected the millennials are. They have a need to be in the know of things at all times; this is why social networking is such a big deal. Constantly on their digital devices, millennials expect connectivity from the other side as well. After all, a disconnected system is inefficient for everyone. The biggest bane with traditional learning is how it doesn’t support the digital interface. However, eLearning makes accessing education possible from any part of the world and anytime you choose. Millennials vie for feedback. A generic “great work” remark doesn’t do much for them. They need to know what it is that they did right and the exact areas of improvement. Even in early schooling, individualized feedback and attention are preferable to the “one size fits all” approach that many educational institutions tend to take. With eLearning, though, they are part of a constant loop of feedback and are given new goals to accomplish. They can keep track of their progress, self-monitor their way into more knowledge, and learn more efficiently than they ever can in the bounded classroom with hundreds of others.

Unlike what the media keeps portraying them as, millennials are extremely dedicated to self-development. The yogilates class that’s all the rage with them? That isn’t just a whim but a deep-rooted desire to be better. In earlier eras, changes took place much slower; our great-grandparents never really experienced any drastic shift of worldview. Today, things are transforming by the minute. Millennials are bang in the middle of the daily revolution and they are taking it in stride. Standing still, they know, means being pushed out of the rat race. Gulping down new skills and evolving into better, more efficient people is a necessity now. And eLearning is the easiest way to make it happen. If you want to know what the next big thing is, ask a millennial. Chances are not only they know it like the back of their hand, they are also neck deep in it.

With an on the go lifestyle and a constant lookout for the next great adventure, eLearning is their best friend. Millennials are highly achievement-oriented, driven, and genuinely love mastering new skills – the more, the better. But with juggling all the tasks they do, how can they go about learning the latest skills? eLearning does not only facilitate all the learning their heart’s desire but ensures that bite-sized information doesn’t overwhelm the learner. The attention span of millennials is notoriously low. Good luck having them hooked on anything for longer than 20 minutes. Micro-learning might be the answer here. The short yet informative videos you see on Khan Academy? That’s micro-learning. These are basically morsel of information, granular, varying, and most importantly, concise. Micro eLearning modules make learning much more engaging for young wandering minds. In fact, they improve understanding, application levels, and retention by as much as 30%.

What Makes eLearning Great

Now that we know millennials and eLearning go hand in hand, let’s also understand how eLearning works and what makes it an amazing learning solution for every one of us.

Are you ever in control in a classroom? You study a course, designed to the T for you, but by facilitators who don’t take your individual needs into accounts, and it is highly likely they are completely out of touch with the reality of the outside world. In an eLearning environment, you are a king. You choose a course of your liking and a syllabus you find engaging. You choose your pace, revisit a topic as many times as you like, and are in complete control of how you choose to study.

Not everyone looking to develop herself is a young student. Many professionals, at different stages of their careers, want to grow their skill sets, maybe for a career switch or just to be better at their jobs. Years ago, however, there was not much one could do except pray for a training program by the office. Today though, more power belongs to the employees. Develop any relevant skills and impress your colleagues with the flexibility of eLearning.

Got 30 minutes to spare? Instead of scrolling the Facebook newsfeed, you can simply do a bit of learning on the side without having to leave your house or office. Don’t believe it will work? Here are the numbers. The 53% of employees claim eLearning increased their productivity and engagement.

It’s not just individuals who can benefit from eLearning. Organizations are working it to their advantage too. With industries spinning 180 degrees being the new normal, employers are often at their wit’s end, trying to train their employees. After all, introducing the latest software or new techniques to a huge number of people is no easy task. And it’s definitely not cheap. Some companies can simply not afford to constantly keep employees updated; the costs are meteoric and anything they manage to learn will soon become a thing of the past. This is the making of a failing business.

eLearning, however, is a cost-effective solution to your office training needs. Once you have a top-notch Learner Management System (LMS), training the entire organization is much simpler as long as you have the necessary resources and an engaging interface for your employees.

Join The eLearning Revolution

The jack of all trades is the one who is most in demand these days. Specialization, although great, is simply not as important as it used to be. A working knowledge on as many fields as possible and adaptability is what the world wants right now.

If you don’t want to fall behind in the race, it’s time to upgrade yourself. There are tonnes of eLearning sites you can check out. Coursera and Udemy are, of course, well known to us all. They even provide Ivy League university certified courses! If you don’t find what you’re looking for, there’s also Lynda, Udacity, Open Culture, edX, Tuts+ and plenty more for you to try.

These are all asynchronous platforms. That means you don’t have to study or avail resource materials in real time. Anybody who is enrolled can access course material at any time of their choosing. When you’ve got the internet at your fingertips, there is no excuse for a skill gap anymore. Forget the skill gap, for those of us who love the high of knowledge, eLearning is a godsend. No topic is out of limits, and nor are there any restraints holding you back. Enroll in a course right now to become the best version of yourself.

3 Easy Steps to Millennials Becoming Their Own Best Leadership Coach

USE OUR ASP HACK

Here on the blog, we often talk about how important it is for business leaders to provide professional development opportunities for their Millennial staff. And not just Millennial staff, but ALL their staff! Guess what? Research proves that learning, well, is the new learning! Millennials are demanding it at work and in the marketplace. They want experiences that teach them and what’s more, only 13 percent of companies report they are “excellent” at building global leaders. That’s a disappointing statistic. So the question becomes, how can we help millennials help themselves?

Millennials don’t need to wait for their companies to establish mentorship programs or leadership training. Millennials can be their own best coach and can start preparing themselves for current or future leadership roles right now. Today! Yes, today.

As we know to be true, millennials are very motivated to learn and to develop leadership skills when given a chance. Like all of us, they just need to know where to start!
Here is a simple framework to help set you on your way to becoming your own best leadership coach.  Since everyone loves a good acronym, we call this framework ASP.

Here’s how you do it.

(A) Assess Yourself as a Leader

To start, you need to become aware and assess who you are as a leader today. This requires that you view yourself with an objective, third-person perspective similar to the way a boss might evaluate you.

To achieve that, we turn to LEADERSHIP JOURNALING.

Writing things down is a uniquely powerful tool and can give us insights into ourselves that we never knew before. Becoming your own best coach requires you to act and to take the initiative.  This exercise is a clear and structured way to identify your strengths and apply focusing on strategies as a leader to own your personal and professional life.

Here’s what you do: sit down with a notepad or blank document on your computer and for 30-minutes, write freely about how you see yourself as a leader. Your writing can be messy and jumbled; the goal here is simply to discover what you feel your strengths and weaknesses are as a leader.  As a matter of fact, throw out as much as you can and see what you get.

If you need some help getting started, here are a few simple questions you can begin answering about yourself. These questions work whether you are already in a leadership role or you are preparing yourself for a future leadership role. They are:

  1. What are your greatest strengths?
  2. How do your strengths help you lead?
  3. What holds you back from being a leader?
  4. When are you at your very best as a leader?
  5. What is one big challenge you have overcome using your strengths and how were you being a leader in that instance?
  6. When was a time that you fell short as a leader?
  7. What did you learn?
  8. How would you do things differently using your strengths?

After 30-minutes, if you answer honestly about yourself as a leader, then you’ll begin to see a pattern of your leadership style splattered across the page. With your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL done it is time to give it a read through and truly understand how to apply your strengths together with what is holding you back from living your strengths to create real results and start crushing it.

(S) Strengths Focus

Start by reading through your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL a few times and pay close attention to your answers (especially for questions 5 – 8). Those are where your areas for improvement are likely lurking.

Based on your responses, you should notice a few things about yourself as a leader that you could improve.  If not, work harder, get a buddy to look at it and really push what you can do to be better, think of yourself as the best coach you ever had and act like that.  As you read, make a bullet list below your LEADERSHIP JOURNAL of at least five things about yourself as a leader you would like to move to the next level.

Once you have your list complete, it’s time to start focusing on objectives to hack.

Five things is too many to focus on improving at once. Instead, pick the top two characteristics or areas of improvement that you think will have the greatest impact on your daily work life. As an example, let’s say you chose to focus on improving your strength of activation or execution by working on patience and organization as your tools to master your work.  You might actually learn to breathe, or digest before reacting so as be seen as a leader of teams instead of an individual contributor.

Now, below your bullet list of strengths you want to improve, list three to four leaders who you would consider to be exceptional in those areas (try to make sure at least one of those four is in your industry or field).

With your list of leaders ready, it is time to do some research. Your job is to answer one focus question: how do these people excel in the areas that you are looking to improve through hacking tips?

Your research into this question should include listening to their podcast, reading their interviews, reading their biographies, or even trying to speak with them directly. Make sure your effort to answer the focus question is purposeful: that means writing down notes, marking pages, and highlighting interviews.

By the end of your research, you should have compiled notes of wisdom about how successful people have strengthened their skills to make it a superpower.  For example, you may now know that Tim Ferris is a big fan of Stoicism to stay calm or that Sheryl Sandberg uses a notebook to keep her thoughts organized.

With your awareness, focus on improving strengths and getting the tools you need. In time, you will start to acquire wisdom in hand. Be ready to put your new found wisdom into action.

(P)  Practice What You Have Learned

Some of the tips you gathered in your research will be sill, not fit your personality, or simply won’t apply. That is okay! You want to narrow down all of your notes to a few tools/resources/approaches that you think can provide real solutions for you. Or actually, convert them to a language that allows you to adopt them and practice all the time.

Now below your research notes, synthesize your notes into a bullet list. This time pick out the two or three nuggets of wisdom you think will be most effective for helping you apply and develop your strengths through trial and error: PRACTICE.

Once you have your two to three point PRACTICE bullet list, it is time for the most important step: to make a concerted effort to apply the strategies to improve as a leader.

Some of this wisdom may work and you will be excited to add it to your repertoire. That is great! But some of it won’t work, and that is okay too. You can always go back and identify other nuggets of wisdom from your notes, research other leaders with the same process, and continue to try new things. That is how you (PRACTICE) learn and improve!

It may seem like a lot of work, but make sure you have fun with it.  If you adopt this ASP process or MINDSET with each new learning experience, you will crush it.

Try These 7 Hacks to Crush Your First Leadership Role

Real deal, kick-butt, core leadership skills remain a major issue as the Millennial generation recasts the workforce. One study found only 4% if Millennials were interested in managing others, which ain’t many.

Despite their lack of enthusiasm about leadership, nearly 50% of Millennials are managing four or more people. And that is great!  The issue is that their companies are not preparing them for those leadership roles. In Deloitte’s 2016 Global Human Capital Trends study, 28% of companies report weak leadership pipelines and only 7% of companies believe they are “excellent” and developing Millennial leaders.

And that, my friends, is a problem.

It’s clear that Millennials need to look elsewhere for the support they need to become the leaders they are capable of being.

To do our part in helping the next generation, my team and I distilled our combined 100 years of experience into seven leadership hacks Millennials can use to kill it as leaders right out of the gate.

Hack #1: Your Job is to both Learn and Teach = So Always Admit When You Don’t Know

As a young leader, you may feel that you have to have the perfect solution to every problem that arises and that admitting you don’t know something will make you look weak or unprepared for your role as a leader.

But in reality, the exact opposite is true.

People don’t respect leaders “who pretend” to know everything. It is super easy to see through that charade and ultimately it hurts your credibility. Your team wants to know you care enough to be honest, learn, lead and fail.  They want to help you grow!

Strong leaders comfortably balance a combination of vulnerability and confidence. They admit when they don’t know something and they use the people around them to help develop and execute solutions to problems. It takes “real deal” confidence, strength and humility to admit that you do not know something and figure it out anyway.

Ultimately, that is the type of leader everyone wants around them. If your idea of being a leader is that of a hero leading his troops into battle, think again. What you will find out quickly about leadership is that most of the time it is not glamorous.

At launchbox365, we find the best leaders are most often playing the field, doing the grunt work to make sure their team is pointed in the right direction, that their people have the resources and support they need to do their job as effectively as possible, and making sure everyone is engaged in their work every day.

Real leaders put in the effort to make sure everyone else can perform at their very best. For every employee who shines, there is an excellent leader who helped put them in a position to succeed.

Hack #2: Ask Great Questions

The most powerful tools we have are the ability to serve others and build relationships.  You cannot do either without asking great questions.

If you think back to people who you feel the strongest connection to, they are probably people who spend the most time asking you about your favorite topic: you! Why is that? Because question asking demonstrates you care, puts you in learn-and-serve mode, and allows you to more effectively share your perspective, ideas and solutions.

Use this strategy with your own people. Take the time to ask questions and understand what they need from you. Your reward will be genuine connections with your people, and there is no better feeling than that.

Hack #3: Understand and Find the “Right” Mentors

There is no doubt there will be times as a young leader that you will be lost; it just comes with being young. You will be frustrated. You will feel that you are failing. You will wonder if you are up to the task of leading people. You might feel like quitting. It is called life.

And it is at these times that you need to teach yourself that you can figure it out. My partner calls it (“FIO”ing). Self-soothe by having the right mindset. That means understanding the challenges you face enough to ask the right people for help and then turning to those more experienced people for real and specific advice and perspective.

Mentors come in all shapes and sizes and at all levels, both personally and professionally.  Your job is to understand which mentors can provide value and at what time. That means knowing exactly how they can help you. Remember: the most important quality in a mentor is that they push you, they ask you tough questions, they help you focus on what you can control and how to attain and retain a positive mindset.

If you’re smart and allow it, they will be there for your highest highs and your lowest lows, guiding you with the perspective of someone who has already traveled the road you are embarking on.

Hack #4: Be Real & Authentic – Emotions & Vulnerability are Important Leadership Qualities

I have never been one to sugarcoat things and that includes my own feelings, doubts, and emotions. I have always believed that people have much greater respect for authenticity than they do for thinly veiled fake-calmness or understanding.

Be real and authentic with your people, they will appreciate it. When you are vulnerable and open people tend to trust you more.  Trust is the basic currency of connection we use as humans to create deep relationships that last.

You are a human and so are your people. This doesn’t mean you need to be Ron Burgundy constantly locked in a box of emotion. But you can tell your people from time to time what you are stressed about, or concerned about, or feeling. It makes you seem human, opens up a dialogue that goes beyond work, and helps you connect more deeply with the people you work with.

Hack #5: Understand and Create Grit

I love people who have grit. When you cross paths with someone who is gritty, you know it right away. They are tough, scrappy, and they get shit done no matter the obstacles in their way.

And they do it with a smile on their face.

People respect leaders who are gritty. If you want to earn your team’s respect, show them you aren’t afraid to get your hands dirty or to go the extra mile to deliver results. Grit is simply an attitude: it is about how far you are willing to go for your team to succeed.

And when you are gritty, your people will quickly follow suit.

Hack #6: Listen, Write It Down and Make It Known

Nothing frustrates people more than feeling their concerns are not being heard or their needs are being forgotten. As a new leader, the quickest way to earn credibility with your people is to make sure they know their opinion, concerns, or perspective are valued.

That is why we recommend not only listening but also writing down people’s ideas or concerns and making sure they know that you wrote them down.

When people see you actively listening and taking notes on what they are saying, there is a greater sense that you are taking their concerns seriously. And that can make a huge difference in your people’s willingness to confide in you and the amount they trust you to act on their behalf.

Hack #7: Enjoy the Experience!

Don’t forget to enjoy your experience as a young leader! If you see it as an opportunity, which it is, it shows.  The learning curve may be steep, but the opportunity to lead others is a professional development opportunity unlike any other. Being a leader will put you face to face with unique challenges, your personal insecurities, and force you to overcome it all. It is a big responsibility, but you will ultimately be grateful for the opportunity. Promise.

Go win with these 7 hacks!

Solving the Professional Service Industry’s Millennial Challenge.

Houston, we, the professional service industry, have a Millennial problem. Millennials can expect their initial years in the industry to involve “paying their dues” through unengaging grunt work and brutal work hours with few opportunities for professional growth or training. The reward for surviving those monotonous early years is greater earning potential later in their careers.

Or, said another way, the professional service industry offers the exact opposite of what we know Millennials want from their careers.

And it is costing the industry millions of dollars every year.

On average, Millennials leave their employers after only two years on the job. This is wildly expensive for companies and leaves them with no talent in the pipeline to groom for future success in the industry. Though professional service companies must own some of the blame for their lack of appeal to Millennials, the issue is complex and it isn’t all the fault of the professional service industry itself.  So what is really going on with professional Millennials and what can be done about it?

To Invest or Not to Invest in Training for Millennial Talent

Millennial turnover is no small problem. For mid to large professional service companies, a high rate of turnover costs millions of dollars in direct and indirect costs.  

Employers are understandably frustrated. They feel that Millennials are graduating college without the necessary skills to succeed as professionals. Employers could close that gap by investing in training and professional development. But out of fear their young talent will leave anyway, they hesitate to invest in proper training and professional development opportunities.

This has created an endless negative cycle. Millennials don’t receive the training opportunities they value forcing them to look elsewhere for opportunities where they can learn and grow. This gives them a reputation for job-hopping, making employers even more hesitant to invest the time and money to train their young staff.

This is already playing out in law firms, which some think will be forced to break apart over the next decade due to a lack of up and coming talent to hand established firms over to after longstanding Boomer partners retire.

For companies, Millennials are an expensive and seemingly unfixable problem. But they are not alone: Millennials think the situation is hopeless as well.

Why Are Millennials Leaving?

We know that Millennials value work that is meaningful, provides opportunities to learn and allows them to make an impact in areas that they are passionate about. Yet, professional service companies continue their tradition of giving young talent long hours, dull work, a lack of opportunities to make a significant impact, and limited opportunities to work in areas of interest.

Millennials also rank salary below training and schedule flexibility when it comes to workplace perks. Yet, most companies continue to pay high salaries, are unbudging when it comes to flexible work hours, skimp on providing valuable professional development opportunities, and then throw up their hands in exasperation when their Millennials walk out on them.  

It really should not come as a surprise that Millennials are quick to leave the professional service industry given that companies have shown little willingness to cater to the needs and wants of Millennial talent. Senior Boomer staff who have spent their lives working their way up the industry hierarchy will exclaim that this is how it has always been! These Millennials need to toughen up!

This is a losing mentality for individual companies and the industry as a whole.

The professional service industry simply cannot afford to pass up on entire generations of talent because of an unwillingness to adapt to the needs of up and coming talent. Just like in any other industry, companies can (and must) make small adjustments to how they operate and invest in young, up-and-coming talent.  

How The Professional Service Industry Can Retain Millennial Talent

If current trends continue, many companies in the next decade are going to be forced to deal with a shallow talent pool as the most talented Millennials become frustrated and move on to other more Millennial-focused industries. Thankfully, there are practical strategies that companies can use to satisfy Millennial’s professional development needs, keep them engaged in their work and increase the likelihood that they stick around long enough for companies to see a return on their investment in young talent.

Pay Less and Train More

This bears repeating: professional development opportunities are the number one workplace perk among Millennials across all industries. It is possible for companies to invest more in training and decrease their risk of losing that investment simultaneously. To do this, some companies are lowering starting salaries and offering an increased emphasis on training opportunities as a perk to attract young talent.

At the end of the day, indulging Millennials in their desire for professional development is hugely beneficial for companies. Providing training helps close the skills gap, increases Millennial retention rates, lowers turnovers costs, and helps attract top talent that companies can groom for success in the industry.       

Alternative Career Paths

Not everyone needs to pop champagne on a private jet to feel fulfilled by their career. Companies need to provide alternative career paths for Millennials who may not be striving to summit the peak of the industry in terms of money and status, but who are more than capable of bringing value and passion to an organization.  

Creating alternative career paths often involves offering more diverse positions than were previously available. These new roles provide more opportunities for Millennials to focus on areas of the industry that interest them most and where they feel they can make the biggest impact. This is a draw to Millennials, even if that means they will be working for a lower salary. These alternative career paths may not offer the glitz and glamour of “making partner”, but they allow companies to appeal to a more diverse group of young talent and benefit from the value and passion they bring.

Adopt More Progressive Work Policies

No one is suggesting axing professional dress codes or adding ping pong tables and craft peer as office perks. But the service industry needs to begin to admit that if it is going to succeed, it needs to come out of the 1960s. That includes making greater efforts of inclusion, supporting greater work hour flexibility, and continued integration of digital and online tools that improve the experience of both the young staff and the company’s clients. The industry doesn’t need to be turned on its head, but it does need to work towards reflecting the world that its associates and clients live in.

The next decade is going to be critical for the  professional service industry. Gen Z, the generation after Millennials, has the job market in its sights, and the talent in Gen Z is going have similar expectations about the workplace as their slightly older Millennial colleagues. The professional service industry needs the best and brightest to succeed, but if it does not begin to evolve to appeal to young talent, it is going to be left fighting over the leftovers of the talent pool.

And for industry built around professionals, that is a scary thought.

The 4 Top Solutions for Retaining Millennial Employees: Teach, Learn, Listen, and Guide

As a coach of CEOs and business leaders on how to retain Millennial talent, I am often presented with the same problem: in a desperate attempt to appeal to their Millennial staff, business owners buy Ping Pong tables, kegs of craft beer for the office kitchen, free food, or setup an Xbox in their office common area.

And low and behold their Millennial staff continue to walk out on them, but why?.  

Senior or seasoned staff see this generation of 20-30 somethings as being vastly different than any generation that came before them. They complain of Millennial’s need to be taught industry skills, their laziness, their incessant attempts to have their ideas heard, their utopian ideas about work life balance and their peculiar craving for a sense of professional progression.  

Nonetheless, the great Millennial secret is that they are more similar to every other generation of young and ambitious people throughout history.    

Universally, what Millennials want is to be taught what they don’t know so they can grow and progress. They want the chance to teach others to help improve those around them. When they speak, they want to be heard and valued. And they want guidance on how to be successful from people who have already walked the path they’re embarking on.

There is no mystery there.

Recognizing this similarity between Millennials and all generations is the easy part. The real solution  to retaining your millennial talent is easier said than done and comes in establishing an intergenerational office culture founded on teaching, learning, listening and guidance. Here’s why and how:

 

Teaching Millennials Benefits All Generations   

PayScale’s 2016 Workforce Report revealed a stark contrast between Millennial’s perception of their preparedness for their job and that of their senior (and older) hiring managers. PayScale’s report showed that 87% of Millennials thought they were prepared for their job, while only 50% of managers felt their Millennial staff were prepared.

While managers are quick to pick up on Millennial’s unpreparedness, “they should just know it, the thinking goes, because the senior folks all learned it themselves.” Can you say …bull….

Nonetheless, they seem to turn a blind eye to a far more important Millennial characteristic: their desire for professional development opportunities.

According to PWC’s Millennials at Work Reshaping the Workplace Report, professional development is “…their first choice benefit from employers,” ranking above flexible hours and pay.

To begin developing a teaching culture, you need to ask yourself honestly: do your Millennial employees have regular opportunities to work with and learn from your senior staff?

If the answer is no, the time to start creating those learning opportunities for Millennials is now.

For senior staff, it means building a rapport and genuine relationship with their younger staff, a chance to pass on their expertise, and the chance to help the younger generation progress professionally.

For Millennials, mentorship opportunities provide a sense that their team and company are invested in them. Mentorships are a chance for younger talent to learn from the wisdom of those with decades of experience in their industry, to improve their skills in the areas they are lacking, and provide a sense of professional progress.

According to the data, if you want loyalty from Millennials, you have to provide them these opportunities to learn and grow professionally. This is a savvy and ambitious generation. Their hunger to learn and grow needs be fed by employers. Otherwise, Millennials are happy to pack up and find opportunities to develop their skills elsewhere.  

 

You’ve Got a Lot to Learn From Millennials

Though older generations may only view Millennials as 50% prepared for the workplace, that 50% can be incredibly valuable to senior staff who now face a strange and intimidating new landscape where email is seen as being a bit outdated and popular trends change on a dime.

Thankfully for senior staff, their Millennial colleagues present a unique learning opportunity on how to operate in the digital age.

From more efficient in-office communication tools, to new platforms to exploit, to understanding the ideas, motivations and mindset of 83  million of their fellow Millennials, the younger generation has a lot to teach the seasoned professionals in the office.

And Millennials want to teach.

They are aware that in the complex digital age, it is only those that innovate, adapt and evolve that survive. Millennial complaints about antiquated meeting schedules or dated sales tactics don’t come from a sense of entitlement; they come from a sense of urgency. They have taken part in the digital age since they were born. They know how fast the world moves. And they want you and your organization to keep up.

The reward for senior staff who take the time to learn from them? A crash course in the latest trends, tools, and platforms, in addition to that much sought after millennial loyalty.

But to learn, senior staff first have to be willing to listen.  

 

For Millennials, To Be Heard is to Be Valued

Millennial workers overwhelmingly enjoy working with the other older generations. In the same PWC study, 76% of Millennials said that they enjoyed working with “older senior management” and only 4% disagreed. It isn’t about being needy or entitled. Millennials want the opportunity to have their ideas heard, to get feedback on those ideas from senior staff, and to feel valued by the companies they work for.

And senior or seasoned staff may do well by listening.

Millennials are responsible for many of the recent positive trends in workplace environments. They facilitate more collaborative work environments, introduce communication tools that limit the need for inefficient meetings, emphasize the importance of having a sense of purpose at work, and have made CSR an essential company perk.  

They also represent a huge chunk of the US economy, “spending more than $650 billion each year and influencing upward of $1 trillion in total consumer spending.” Listening to how they think, the things they like, and the values they hold can help senior staff with decisions on everything from marketing strategies to product design.