It’s no secret that millennials are different from the generations that came before them, and those differences extend to what they’re looking for in their employers. As a company looking to recruit key talent from the incoming and existing millennial workforce, creating an attractive set of career development opportunities for your employees will help to position you as one of the top choices for that group. Competition for these valuable hires can get fierce, but showing that your company can evolve to fit the needs of new generations will set you apart.
Millennials get a bad rap and are often portrayed as lazy or entitled by media and popular culture. If we go by the overarching narrative, the group wants benefits such as pet-friendly workplaces, office gyms, and a snack bar on every floor. While those things are all great perks, they’re not the valuable growth opportunities that really matter to this younger crowd. By offering professional development programs and experiences, your company can show millennials that you listen to them and care about their needs. So then, exactly what kinds of growth benefits do millennials want? We’ve broken it down for you—here are some of the top professional development benefits and opportunities that millennials look for in an employer.
One of the most important factors that millennials evaluate when deciding which company they’d like to work for is whether or not their employer will be able to help them advance in their career. Do they foresee themselves staying long term? Are they going to be able to grow to higher leadership positions at your company? If your business is unable to offer opportunities for growth, potential employees are going to look elsewhere.
Mentoring programs are one of the best ways you can provide your employees with continuous development opportunities. At Menttium, we believe in the power of mentoring. Through the mentor-mentee relationship, mentees can gain valuable insights, diverse perspectives, and utilize resources that will put them on the path to success. By implementing a mentoring program at your company, you’ll show your employees that you want to create a culture that supports and encourages learning, leadership development, and innovative thinking.
If success is all about who you know, then networking is the key to making those valuable contacts. Internal networking events offer a great opportunity for your employees to mingle and make connections in different departments, as well as to get exposure to senior leaders. Not only will this allow them to feel more comfortable interacting with each other socially; these meetings and conversations can allow better cross-functional collaboration and more visibility to the company mission and vision.
These events can be as formal or informal as you like, depending on your company culture. If you want to promote more casual conversation and friendly interaction, consider hosting a monthly happy hour or coffee hour in your office cafe. For more formal networking events, lend the event some gravitas by offering an RSVP sign-up and holding it in a separate space outside of your office.
While challenging employees to reach their potential is encouraged, no one likes to feel lost or expected to do something with no guidance. Ensure that you have the proper mechanisms in place to keep your employees stimulated yet able to request guidance if necessary. This should begin with a well-designed onboarding process, built to get an employee up to speed and functioning in his or her new role, as well as acclimated to the organizational culture and provided visibility to senior leaders. From there, you can continue to promote ongoing learning with various resources, leadership development programs, on-demand learning modules and opportunities for community engagement.
When it comes to attracting and retaining top talent, it’s crucial to make sure that your company stands out from the rest. By offering key growth opportunities, you can show current and future employees that you are invested in them. If your millennial employees don’t think they’ll be able to advance their career at your company, they may leave. Instead of pushing away high-potential millennials, cultivate their talent with a high-quality career development program.
At Menttium, we believe in the power of mentoring. Our programs are designed to help employees unlock potential with stronger performance. The mentor-mentee relationship provides a place for vulnerability, authenticity, and encouragement, and we pair people very intentionally to enable mentees to rise to their full potential. Through these relationships, mentees will gain unique perspectives and insights that will carry over into their professional and personal lives; we focus on the whole person to help people thrive at work and in life.
Menttium can help you unlock the true potential in your employees. With 28 years of experience in designing, facilitating, and administering cross-company and internal mentoring programs, we provide the resources for mentoring success. Contact us today to learn more about what Menttium has to offer.