Millennials have been entering the workforce for a while now, but employers are often still at a loss as to how to bridge skill gaps. This younger generation of workers comes with a variety of expectations, and this can pose a challenge to older employers who are used to doing things a certain way. To complicate things further, more millennials these days hold degrees from institutions of higher learning, and many are questioning whether or not their degrees truly mean anything these days. With so many workers holding degrees, are they worth what they once were? Furthermore, does a higher education translate to profitable skills on the job?
Get to Know What Millennials Expect
One way to solve some of these concerns while maximizing the abilities of millennial workers is to get to know what they expect. Many are used to working through the Internet to get things done, and this can be a problem if your company does not place an emphasis on Internet technology. In addition, millennials often expect the ability to work remotely.
Allowing this can be seen as a risk by some business owners, but studies have shown that allowing remote work leads to big gains and a team that is more invested in polishing its skills. Aside from online research, it might be a good idea to pull younger employees aside and discuss one-on-one what they are looking for in a workplace when it comes to developing skills, especially coming right out of college.
Provide Digital Training Sessions
Another way to shore up the skills of millennials is to offer online training sessions regularly. These sessions should focus not only on skill development, but also talent mobility within the company. The reason for the talent mobility portion is to provide employees with a sense of hope and desire to move upward within your company, while the skills portion is intended to help workers to tap into talents to make the company better as a whole.
This training can be offered during company time, but it can also be provided as an at-home, online webinar. You could also develop interactive training and testing sites or applications for desktop and mobile to assist employees in growing and learning. This method would not only allow employees to learn at their own pace, but it would also speak to their reliance on digital technology.
Offer Regular Feedback
Many millennials today have grown up and live in a world full of instant gratification. This means that they expect to receive feedback very quickly about things they post online, text messages they send to friends, and so on. In a professional setting, many employers still impose a once-a-year performance review model, but this can be frustrating to millennials who are trying to learn and grow in their skillsets. Instead of an annual review, consider a monthly review model that provides feedback, skill growth assessments, and performance analysis data to employees so that they can know month to month how they are improving and where improvement is needed.
Will millennials drastically shift the tone of the workforce in America?
Andrew Rusnak is an author who writes on topics that include business development and new media.