How does your organization approach millennials and their development? It’s a quandary most of us have heard expressed this way:

The CFO says, “What if we develop our people and they leave?” The CHRO replies, “What if we don’t develop them and they stay?”.

It feels like a catch 22, doesn’t it? Millennials are known as digital natives, social media all stars, and creative thinkers. They also have a collective reputation as job hoppers. What to do?

According to Gallup research, millennials want jobs to be development opportunities. In fact, 87% say it’s important in a job. How likely are you to attract the most ambitious, hard working, development oriented millennials to your organization if you can’t articulate a plan for their development? And even if you attract them to a job, how likely is it you’ll retain them without development?

No question – it’s hard to invest in development when you fear they’ll leave before you’ve benefited from your investment. But look at it this way, even if they do leave (and we hope they don’t) they leave with a story about your company. And that story is either “they don’t develop people” or “they are committed to developing people.”  Remember how highly connected they are via social media? Which story do you want them to share to their network? And how will that impact your ability to attract the best millennials to your organization?

Create a Plan

To find out if you are providing the right development try these steps:

  • Ask your millennials.

Find ways to get quality feedback (one one one, survey, focus group) about the development they find most meaningful. Brainstorm with them on how you can create opportunities that equip them while forwarding important action for your business. Have them join you in looking for the win/win. That conversation in itself is developmental.

  • Look at your retention rates.

Are millennials staying with you? Where you have turnover, who is leaving? If it’s the best and brightest you have a problem. It’s critical to conduct exit interviews to determine why they are leaving. Then make the adjustments the data suggests.

  • Look at your promotion rates.

Are the most capable millennials being given more responsibility, more challenge, and a path forward? They don’t want to remain static.  Create stretch assignments that build capability which then warrants promotion.

When you’ve done all of the above…

  • Publicize your efforts.

Be sure everyone knows you value and invest in your talent. Be sure your people know you’re committed to developing the best and brightest. And if some of them leave (and some will) at least they’ll leave with a story about what a great organization yours is for developing talent.

Launch them into Success

If you’re promoting millennials into management they need targeted development. Our manager development program, Launch! is a highly personalized experience designed to accelerate the effectiveness of managers in Atlanta. The cohort meets six times for a half day of interactive learning. In the two weeks between sessions they apply their learning at work and then report results to their cohort. Each learner receives a DiSC Management profile and three private coaching sessions. It is a profound learning opportunity that can reap dividends for your organization’s culture!

Launch! begins October 4th. Register now for the Early Bird special. Registration closes on Sept 30. Click here to learn more: Launch!


Introducing Launch!

An innovative manager development cohort