Is Training the Ultimate Employee Benefit for Millennials?

In case you haven’t heard, Millennials are now the largest workforce demographic. And, this generation is having a major impact on how companies compete to attract and retain today’s top talent. Spoiler alert: Throwing more money at this generation will not buy you loyalty or attract the most qualified candidate to your organization.

What Millennials Want

Millennials want employee benefits that make a difference. If you’re looking to attract top Millennial talent to your company (and who isn’t in today’s hiring frenzy?), then you must look beyond the traditional benefits of pensions, company cars, and bonuses (as great as they may be).

Millennials want employee benefits that make a difference. If you’re looking to attract top Millennial talent to your company, then you must look beyond the traditional benefits of pensions, company cars, and bonuses. Click To Tweet

Millennials don’t just want to spend their time earning a paycheck; they want to invest their time acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to grow both personally and professionally – and they expect you as an employer to help them make this possible.

The bottom line? This generation views work through an entirely different lens from previous generations. They prioritize personal fulfillment and professional development (found rarely in the workplace anymore and widely varied at companies that do offer such opportunities) over cash bonuses and 401(k) programs. A recent survey by Gallup found that 87% of Millennials say that professional training and career growth is very important to them. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that this group is always thinking about what’s next in their careers. Putting the framework in place to help your employees grow individually can help your company grow as well.

Is your company prepared to engage Millennials? Not sure? We can help – check out the Millennial Project!

The Millennial Project

Let’s begin a conversation about positioning your enterprise as the preferred destination for high-performing, passionate Millennial workers.

How to Become the Top Millennial Employer

Now that we know what Millennials want, let’s talk about how you can refocus your employee training and professional development plans to make you the employer Millennials want to join – and more importantly – stay with!

  • Leadership Workshops
    • Opportunities for advancement in their careers is far more highly prized by Millennials than anything else in defining an attractive employer, so offering programs and workshops that teach leadership skills is essential.
    • By implementing training programs, mentorship, and team-building courses, with the scope for promotions, you could attract the most ambitious Millennials.
  • Learning and Personal Development Culture
    • Millennials are in the earlier stages of their career journey, where they want to learn and grow as much as possible. This makes training and professional development a top desire when seeking a new job.
    • Designing a culture of learning and development instills a sense of purpose, which will engage and motivate employees to be the best workers they can be, whilst pushing your company forward.
  • On-the-Job Skills Training
    • Millennials view ongoing training and development as a necessity – both because they’re very interested in learning new things and also, more pragmatically, because they realize that they need to keep their skills and knowledge sharp in order to remain gainfully employed for the next 3, 4, or even 5 decades.
    • Provide career-boosting training, development, and coaching to each of your team members.
    • Find creative, cutting-edge solutions to deliver just-in-time content to your employees. Consider using a microlearning-based approach to deliver quick hits of content in engaging ways. Invest in a great performance support solution that allows your employees to access solutions at the moment of need.
  • Mentorship
    • Mentoring programs are especially attractive to Millennials, as they provide opportunities for frequent feedback and maximizing relationships.
    • The idea behind mentorship is quite simple; create a mutually beneficial relationship in which both the mentor and the mentee participate and contribute to one another’s goals and expectations – a relationship that is open to change and demonstrates a willingness to learn.
    • Here’s a quick statistic from A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur: While training on its own has shown a 22.8% increase in employee productivity – when coupled with mentoring, that number rises to 90%!

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  • Coaching
    • Millennials crave and respond to great, positive coaching from managers. They aren’t necessarily looking for managerial direction, but rather for help with their own personal development.
    • Millennials want more frequent feedback. Proactively giving feedback on the managerial end can encourage engagement while ensuring that employees are receiving the evalutation they crave.
    • A Gallup survey found that Millennials who meet with their manager regularly are more than twice as likely to be engaged at work.

Learning philosophies have shifted; we now have a better understanding of what’s effective in learning and what isn’t. We’ve really gotten to know our adult learners over the decades and taken great strides in recent years. However, lifelong learning is a continued commitment because our learners are still changing.

As more and more Millennials join organizations and even more move into leadership positions, we need to take a hard look at how prepared we are to provide for their needs – from new hire training and job-specific training to career development. Millennials have been adamant that they want different things out of their learning experiences, and you can be the one to provide key opportunities that will help engage and retain them!


Is your company prepared to engage and retain this new generation of leaders? Here at ttcInnovations, we have The Millennial Project to ensure that your answer can be a bold “yes” and equip your learning organization with the tools to increase employee satisfaction and retain Millennials.

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About the Author:

Debbie Wooldridge, founding president and CEO of DW Training and Development, Inc. dba ttcInnovations, had an idea for helping businesses improve their performance through effective training strategies and programs. Under her skillful and experienced leadership, ttcInnovations provides businesses with engaging learning solutions that adopt a host of performance support options. Through instructor-led and web-based training programs utilizing system simulations, virtual environments, and other innovative approaches, Debbie’s company has ultimately helped businesses enhance on-the-job performance, improve their customers’ satisfaction, deliver significant business results, and achieve their goals. Debbie's company has also created The Millennial Project, an interactive two-day workshop that provides companies with the tools and strategic roadmap needed to improve workforce processes and productivity. Debbie is the author of two books, Unleashing the Intrapreneur – Changing the Face of Corporate America One Millennial at a Time and A Manager’s Guide to Unleashing the Intrapreneur.

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