September 2017
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Generational Differences in the Value of Training

Friday, September 8, 2017

The types of workplace training available today are wildly different from what they were a generation ago. Boomers were usually handed an employee handbook their first day, asked to scan over it, and hit the ground running. They learned on the job by making mistakes, and for the most part accepted the idea that they would feel uncomfortable, unskilled, and ignorant for their first few weeks or first few months on the job. Promotion, too, was a trial and error exercise. Rarely was it articulated what was needed to get ahead in a particular company, and growth paths were hazy at best. Today, however, the Millennial generation has roundly rejected these values, demanding to learn and grow in defined ways at their jobs. According to Gallup, 60 percent of Millennials say job training is extremely important to them, while only 40 percent of Boomers felt the same. Millennials are skilled learners and apply the learning skills they built in their education to their careers. They want to feel capable and confident in their jobs and do not want to remain ignorant and fledgling for extended periods. To get the most out of Millennial employees, organizations must foster and cater to their desire to learn and advance themselves professionally.

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