Get ready for the new generation in our workforce

23 March 2017

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The new generation entering the workforce asks for a new approach regarding learning & development.

Both the way they view learning and how they want to learn new skills is very different from how we did things up till now. The relation between a millennial and learning is more focused on his or her market value. Millennials are no longer content with having the skills needed to execute their current function, they want to broaden and deepen their knowledge and capabilities.

With the introduction of the millennials to the workforce, the focus has changed from learning what is needed for a certain function /job, to how do I make myself an interesting candidate for the job market? How can I grow and what do I want to learn? The focus for learning new skills is no longer on the benefit for the company, but on the benefit for themselves. This doesn’t mean they won’t develop any skills that benefit your company. The skills that make them a more interesting candidate, are usually the same as the skills that make them a good employee.

So what does this mean for HR and the organization?

To support this new generation, the way learning and development is organized is changing. At the moment learning and development is often organized top-down and only to fill the gap between the skills of an employee and his or her current function.

“Companies used to work with competency profiles to fill the gap between what people know and what not. It’s important to take it to the next level, in order to improve the employability of your workforce. HR can do this by letting their employees learn and acquire skills they might not need today but could possibly use in future roles.”​ Tania Pittoors, Director HR Business Consulting

If you want your employees to expand their knowledge and follow their intrinsic motivation to work on their development, HR needs to relinquish control. By trusting your workforce to develop their skills, taking an interest in their development and coaching them to achieve greater results, HR can still be a valuable guide in this process.

Based on the employee’s interests you can guide them to interesting and qualitative courses & topics and help them to find this information that is nowadays easily accessible. The focus should be on helping the employee discover what his or her interests are and which professional growth he or she sees for themselves.

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