Complaints about Millennials in the workplace remind me of that adage attributed to Charles Dudley Warner, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”
Likewise, many senior managers are quick to share their gripes about their younger co-workers. But too few stop and ask, “so what are we doing about it?”
I personally empathize with Millennial workers. I was born at the tail end of the Boomer generation to a family still close to its Eastern European immigrant roots. My Mom was a homemaker, and Dad was a skilled tradesman. I was the first in my family to earn a college degree, which armed me with strong technical skills. But all my soft skills training—everything I needed to learn about how to succeed in a professional environment and later as an entrepreneur and leader—came from on-the-job training and coaching.
Fast forward a few decades, and today’s college grads are still entering the workforce with limited professional development, prompting gripes among seasoned workers that Millennials “just don’t know how to work.” Today’s gig economy amplifies the Millennial soft skills training gap. Fewer and fewer of your newer employees will come to you with any formal training in interpersonal communication, time management, ethics, or leadership, among other crucial professional skills.
This soft skills training deficit speaks to a much larger issue than bridging the generation gap among your workforce. As Professor M.S. Rao explains, “people rise in organizations because of their hard skills and fall due to a dearth of soft skills.” Soft Skills training is a critical strategy for developing your organizational leaders now, and on an ongoing basis to fill your leadership talent pipeline for future succession planning. Simply put, to develop tomorrow’s leaders in your organization, you need to invest in soft skills training today.
As you design your training curriculum, don’t risk skimping on the soft skills—especially for your Millennial workforce, who aren’t likely to get professional training and development anywhere else.
No matter the size of your organization, we at eLearning Brothers are working on exciting new ways to help you close your soft skills training gaps. Tell us about your professional development challenges, and we’ll match you with a learning solution consultant who can help.