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Prioritizing Learning and Development.

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Generations tend to shift their priorities based on many things, like values and events that happen as they enter the workforce. As the youngest of our co-workers start their professional careers, many are noticing a shift in what they value from their employer in the form of benefits. One interesting thing I have encountered is the priority many people, across generations, are starting to place on learning and development over many other benefits that used to seem like the bee’s knees.

Now, studies like this typically give me pause, as some find a way to incorporate words like “Digital Native” or “Goldfish-like attention span,” which are not terms founded in science. However, it is interesting that we see a trend in people expecting professional growth via training incumbent in their job benefits. We may have a chicken and egg-like argument here, but no matter how you look at it, people are hoping for a benefit that trains them for the job they want, and not necessarily the job they have.

Why would employers prioritize this level of growth and development in new/young employees? In my opinion, it is because this is an investment in an employee the same way a bonus or stock options or anything else. Investing in good, loyal talent is not new, and yet every interview I’ve ever had, I have thrown the interview team off by asking what my individual training plan would be if I accept the position. I have worked in technology for the majority of my career, which is a nearly ever-changing discipline, keeping technologies informed seems like an obvious priority. This is not a trend isolated to technology. With the wealth of information we have at our fingertips, many of our jobs are evolving. It seems self-evident that if one doesn’t keep their skills up to date, it may decrease their relevance.

Learning and development is not just a tic on a box that a licensing board or HR is forcing on our employees. It is a job perk that goes a long way for anyone seeking a meaningful career experience. How are you fostering this need for your team? What are you doing to invest in your talent? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!

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