Training is directly connected to employee retention. Many employees view adequate training as an essential element of a satisfying workplace. Gen Y sees continuing training as particularly important. This could be, in part, because of the high priority the Millenial Generation places on making a valuable contribution to the workplace. And it could be because the average Generation Y employee stays at a job for just 2 years, making continued learning even more important to keeping their skills sharp.
But how Gen Y defines training is as different as the high value they assign to its importance. The most recent generation to join the workforce demands access to “knowledge in chunks.” Given their familiarity with YouTube, podcasts, and online tutorials, Gen Y is used to jumping online and having immediate access to on-demand learning whenever it is convenient for them.
Their older coworkers, on the other hand, are more likely to turn towards the traditional paper manual. They are also more comfortable with classroom training and will request reimbursement for academic tuition fees-not the cable internet bill.
The same casual approach that characterizes Generation Y’s workplace attire carries over to their approach to knowledge sharing. They are not shy and have no qualms about asking their more knowledgeable coworkers for the answer they need. And, given that casual attitude, they’re more likely to just “holler across the cubicle walls” to a colleague. Boomers, who have spent a career in a much more formal and structured workplace, are less than comfortable with this casual interaction.
So what’s the lesson for employers? For one, if you haven’t already adapted a training and learning approach that fits the Gen Y model, get moving! Your best Gen Ys may already be “googling” their next career opportunity!!