How important is training and development to different generations? The perceived value of training/development is changing. Gen X and Managers See It Differently.
Employers value candidates/employees who come to the job with professional training and development. However, that value and who should foot the bill is redefined with every new generation. Gen Xers and managers have competing perspectives: many managers see professional development as a burdensome expense, while Generation X employees, see training and development programs as an essential part of their career development. Generation Xers aren’t seeing their current employment as a lifetime gig. They want to evolve and grow their careers over their lifetime. If managers want to recruit and retain Generation X, they need to change their perspectives regarding training and professional development. Training and development programs needs to be integrated into the culture and used to attract the best of this generation.
To remain marketable, Generation Xers seek out professional development as a source for improving the kinds of skills they need for future jobs. In the early 1990s many Gen Xers entered the professional workforce. This was a time when jobs were scarce, technology jobs and technology budgets were cut to all-time lows. They learned first-hand that previously solid companies can and do falter and that no job would be guaranteed for life. Since career prospects of the day all seemed transient in nature, they decided to pursue career strategies that would give them a chance to develop marketable skills at each job interval. Gaining skills and remaining employable has become a necessary strategic game. 30% of Gen Xers confess in anonymous polls that job training and career development is so important that they will leave their current job for another that offers better development opportunities.
Professional development is now a mandatory component of any company’s competition for talent. Workplaces are changing in dramatic ways, and training and development is one critical part of the change. Lifetime employment is almost extinct. It’s been replaced by employment-at-will and just-in-time skill recruitment. Careers are more self-managed than ever before.. Even when direct-hired, Generation X employees view themselves as entrepreneurs in charge of their careers and career paths. This self-ownership and independence of career management has taken on immediacy and relevancy. Many Gen Xers believe that they will eventually work for themselves or in small partnership consultancies rather than for working for big corporations. They are realizing and embracing the notion that nearly all services and skills are becoming more and more commoditized daily. Most do not foresee changing careers entirely. They just see a time ahead where their skill mastery will enable them to be if charge of marketing their skills and possibly self-employed.
So if Gen X workers are...