Generational change in the workplace is transforming expectations for professional development—a key driver of employee engagement. Millennials, who place a premium on professional development, are signaling that they want to learn by doing, in a real-world environment. They’re backed by a growing body of research that has called into question the effectiveness of traditional, classroom-style teaching.
What can you do to adapt? A great place to start is Reviving Professional Development, which explores an emerging model built around purpose-driven, service-based leadership learning that also supports corporate social impact. Indeed, The Conference Board has made developing millennial leaders—and keeping them engaged for the long haul—a cornerstone of our guidance for member companies. I’m pleased that this work was recently featured in a Harvard Business Review column based on our case studies of young leaders at Johnson & Johnson and American Express.
All that said, let’s not forget that in the end every generation wants the same basic things: to do work that matters, to be treated with respect, to be fairly compensated, and to continue to learn and grow. I ask: What are we doing to ensure the everyone in the workplace sees a positive future at every organization? How will we build the organization that is a magnet for all kinds of talent at all points in the employee life cycle?