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Are you giving younger workers the best possible training?

Lots of research shows that Millennials and other younger generations are committed to learning the latest skills and applying them to their jobs. For example, one major study from Gallup, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” reports these findings:

group of millennials on devices

  • 60% of younger generations say that the opportunity to gain experience and grow on the job is extremely important. The study also found that only 40% of Baby Boomers feel the same way.
  • 50% of younger generations say they plan to remain in their jobs for at least the next year. In contrast, 60% of all other groups plan to stay in place for at least a year.

Findings like these document that younger generations are more likely to stay invested in their jobs if they can be trained and learn.

Training that appeals to younger generations

Here are some forms of training that appeal strongly to younger generation employees:

Being part of an energized and innovative team.

Younger generations think of themselves as individualist entrepreneurs but at the same time, they expect to be part of a strong and interesting team. Letting younger generations get to know their teammates during training, and fostering a sense of team/group identity, can help convince them that they have joined the right organization.

Training on mobile devices.

As younger generations are the more wired generations, they, especially, like training that is delivered to them on their phones. Even more so, they like training that is delivered in short sessions—the kind they can complete while at lunch, on break, or even at the gym or while commuting.

Building mentoring relationships with supervisors.

Gallup found that 60% of younger generations feel that the quality of the people who manage them is extremely important. With that in mind, training for new employees can set up mentoring, not reporting, relationships between them and strategic managers.


Yes, training is important to younger generations, but I encourage you to think of it as more than a chance to teach skills. Younger generations are the most energized, skilled, and capable ever to enter the workforce. Train them well, stress your organizational values and beliefs, and they will become your organization’s brightest future.

So review your training activities and materials. Ask whether they are outdated, or new enough to appeal to your younger workers.

This post is adapted from Evan Hackel’s book, Ingaging Leadership Meets the Younger Generation.