Simply put, employees—particularly Millennials—want opportunities to learn and grow. If their workplace doesn’t provide these opportunities, they will find one that will. The data supports this notion: According to Gallup, the number 1 reason people change jobs today is for “career growth opportunities.” Employee development, however, isn’t just a perk or a retention strategy; it’s a forward-thinking business tactic. The nature of work is evolving, and today’s workplaces are too complex to offer nothing more than how-to learning experiences. This is a problem in the traditional way employee development is designed. Most programs emphasize fixed knowledge and skill acquisition; this because most employee training is rooted in the assumption that skills and knowledge are the primary differentiator of success in a given role, and are not subject to change dramatically. This way of thinking is outdated and doesn’t take into account the disruptive forces and increased pace technology has unleashed. Rather than teaching employees what to do, employers need to be more concerned with teaching their employees how to think. Employee development nowadays doesn’t mean learning a new computer program, it means empowering them with the mindsets they need to be successful no matter what task comes their way.
We Need to Rethink Employee Development