Millennials are constantly on the hunt for new professional opportunities, it seems. Approximately 60 percent of employees aged 18 to 35 are open to switching jobs, Gallup found. The research firm also discovered that turnover in this age group costs U.S. companies more than $30 billion per year. As a result, most organizations fear that their talented youngsters will move on to greener pastures, leaving behind key responsibilities and costing them major money.
Luckily, there's a simple solution to the job-hopping phenomenon: robust employee training programs. Companies looking to retain their youthful staff should design training that touches on key topics important to millennial workers.
Upward mobility is a major concern for young professionals. Many thirst for ways to advance though organizational hierarchies and attain leadership positions. In fact, for most millennials, the decision on whether to stay or leave hinges upon the availability of leadership opportunities and related training, the consulting and research firm Deliotte discovered.
Most experts agree that mentoring programs are the antidote, the Harvard Business Review reported. There are a variety of innovative approaches available to companies looking to expand their mentorship initiatives. For instance, reverse mentoring has taken hold within some organizations. In this methodology, executives are paired with younger counterparts and tasked with facilitating a flow of mutual knowledge share. Senior employees might teach millennials how to operate in the C-suite while young workers instruct them on technology use in the workplace.
Anonymous mentoring is another effective technique. These programs join young professionals with anonymous, third-party business leaders who offer advice and support. This allows millennials to talk openly and confidentially about their experiences within the office and seek guidance on serious issues.
"My original thought was that it would be odd, and it was awkward initially," Joanna Sherriff, vice president of creative services for the recruitment technology company Decision Toolbox, told the Harvard Business Review. "In the long run, though, I could see why the anonymity was required. I would never have shared with my mentor some of the things I did if he or she had known my identity or my company."
However, leadership training isn't the end-all, be-all cure to job-hopping. Organizations must supplement such programs with clear paths for advancement, according to the magazine CIO. Without these plans, leadership training carries little actual weight.
Varied delivery methods
For most millennials, traditional training scenarios aren't effective. Many feel classroom-style instruction is a waste of time and express contempt for paper pamphlets or workbooks. As a result, most experts advise organizations to deliver content via digital platforms in short spurts, a technique called "micro-learning," Adweek reported. This style prevents time sucks and enables young professionals to engage with training materials in familiar ways through electronic devices.
"Experts advise employers to adopt a training technique called 'micro-learning.'"
Additionally, many industry insiders believe these initiatives are most effective when paired with team-building sessions and other hands-on training activities.
"[The] best way to reach them is through a blended approach – with on-demand content, traditional content, team building – so they can have experience-based learning and apply concepts with simulation to their day jobs," Sean Graber, CEO of the leadership training firm Virtuali, told CIO.
As members of the first true digital generation, millennials are used to using technology that offers or facilitates the delivery of instantaneous feedback. From Facebook comments concerning their clothing choices to web-based comments on college assignments, most young professionals are used to wading through near constant criticism or praise. With this in mind, organizations must establish channels for such interactions, the Society for Human Resource Management reported. To truly improve and reap the benefits of employee training, millennials must know where they stand.