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Brain circuits

Does your company’s training stand up to this test?

Published 3 November 2022 in Brain circuits • 3 min read

It’s no secret that organizations must be constantly evolving to keep up with rapid change. However, there are certain aspects of operations that sometimes elude leaders. If your company’s education and training hasn’t transformed to meet the needs of a new generation, you may have trouble attracting and retaining the next big group of workers. For today’s exercise, ask yourself these questions.

How does your company’s training connect to your purpose?

If you can’t answer this question, you need to rethink the core strategy behind your training and culture. To boost engagement and retention, people want to connect with something that has a greater meaning. If you don’t tailor training to a shared purpose that employees can connect with, you risk losing them, especially when it comes to the millennial workforce.

Are you training people outside their core skill set?

This may feel counterintuitive to people used to traditional educational programs in the workplace, but it is a key factor for millennials. Research has shown that millennials are seeking multiple pathways to move up in an organization. For instance, financial specialists may be interested in building creative skills.

For this reason, your educational programs should be designed with flexibility and the ability to personalize training to the individual’s interests and needs.

Are there opportunities for employees to learn asynchronously?

Another aspect of the flexibility workers are looking for is the opportunity to learn at their own pace in their own space. Employees don’t want to go sit in a room and have someone talk at them for a few hours. Your company should offer videos, articles, and forums they can access any time, as well as weaving these platforms into the workday.

Have you consulted employees about what type of education they want?

Millennials want to be involved in the process. They expect a horizontal power structure where their voices are heard, so make sure you ask them what they would like to see in your company’s educational programming.

Does your programming include experiential learning?

Today’s employee doesn’t want to listen to theory, they want to be active in their learning. Preferences are skewing towards hands-on learning and things like role-playing that keep people actively involved in the process.

Are you providing immediate feedback?

Paradoxically, research has shown that millennials want a greater amount of feedback than previous generations, but also that they are less willing to ask for it. It is therefore important for managers to be proactive in providing feedback both during training and in the workplace on a regular basis.

If you integrate these principles into your company’s learning programs, the educational journey should be well-suited for millennials, but don’t forget to evaluate it regularly for changing preferences and times.

Further reading: 

Designing learning programs for millennial tastes by Arturo Bris and David Ringwood



Arturo Bris - IMD Professor

Arturo Bris

Professor of Finance at IMD

Arturo Bris is Professor of Finance at IMD. Since January 2014, he has led the world-renowned IMD World Competitiveness Center. At IMD, Bris directs the Strategic Finance and Navigating Fintech Innovation and Disruption programs. He also previously directed the flagship Advanced Strategic Management program between 2009 and 2013.

David Ringwood

David Ringwood is Vice President of Client Development for EMEA at the Management Research Group.


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