As Gallup reported, “Millennials fundamentally think about jobs as opportunities to learn and grow. Their strong desire for development is, perhaps, the greatest differentiator between them and all other generations in the workplace.”
Millennials, who are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, care the most about professional development opportunities when it comes to their career.
It is clear that, if organizations want to recruit and retain millennials, they need to be committed to professional development within the workplace. As Inc. magazine said, “when you invest in millennials and their professional development, they are more likely to be engaged in their jobs and loyal to their company or association.”
Why Virtual Professional Development
Recruiting and retaining millennials has never been so critical to the overall health of any organization. Traditional methods of professional development have been in the forms of thoughtful mentorship, guest speakers, conferences, and compensated continuing education courses.
But if 2020 taught us anything, it is that we don’t have to rely on traditional, in-person methods for productivity and positive outcomes in the workplace.
Millennials care about flexibility and instant gratification. They are adept at using technology and often expect to use workplace technology when it comes to operating within their jobs.
Meet your millennials where they are - with a thirst for professional development and proficiency with workplace tech - by offering virtual professional development with your proprietary content in a knowledge base and producing engaging events on a virtual platform.
OnDemand Virtual Professional Development
A knowledge base is a virtual library that hosts content and multimedia for Live or On-Demand access. Videos, podcasts, blogs, webinars, continuing education classes, PDFs and more can be added to your organization’s knowledge base.
Curate your content in a sequential and integrated way to build up to certifications or formal learning modules. With the right technology, you can track users on their content usage and issue assessments, as well as automate certifications upon completion.
Your knowledge base will be highly utilized by the millennials in your organization. Being able to access Professional Development whenever and wherever they want, they will be able to fulfill their needs for growth and learning in an instantaneous, easily accessible way.
Knowledge Bases also appeal to trends in MicroLearning. MicroLearning refers to educational content that learners receive in bite-sized chunks. This technique is becoming increasingly popular across many types of adult learning tracks, all for reasons like:
- Shrinking attention spans
- Learning in short bursts is more realistic for absorbing information
- “Modules” of information offer a better fit for our cognitive architecture
- More engagement with materials
- Highly focused learning objectives
Your knowledge base can expand to becoming a full Learning Management Solution that can be utilized by your employees at any time. You can award employees for completing Continuing Education modules or receiving Certifications.
You can encourage your employees to post their achievements on social media, which will increase brand awareness and employee loyalty to your organization.
Utilizing Virtual Events
Adapting to Virtual Events was one of the biggest shifts in our global economy since the start of Covid-19. Virtual Events can be produced at a fraction of the cost, reduce carbon footprint (millennials love this), connect more attendees, and are often as well-received by audiences.
Consider taking your guest speaker series or professional development workshops online to a Virtual Event. Because you will save time in travel and money in venue and catering, budgets will often allow you to bring in more high-profile speakers.
Connect your millennial employees with thought-leaders in your industry through a recurring webinar series. Offer time at these Virtual Events for networking, allow audience members to ask lots of questions, and provide follow up resources and recordings of the event in your Knowledge Base.
Providing social media engagement opportunities, choosing quality speakers, and curating content around crowdsourced trends within your organization will absolutely increase the likelihood of your millennial employees attending and engaging with your virtual events.
As Deloitte writes, their virtual professional development “helps fill Deloitte’s leadership pipeline with a diverse mix of high-performing professionals.” Mirror the success of large organizations in their focus on Virtual Professional Development to recruit and retain key employees.