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Perspectives

Professional growth opportunities for millennials

A Boston Business Journal series

​One of the top three reasons employees give when leaving an organization is the lack of professional growth and development.

Developing and retaining future leaders

An employer’s perspective, as shared by William K. Bacic, New England managing partner, Deloitte LLP

As business leaders, we are all too familiar with the challenge of talent retention. At any given moment, our organizations could lose a valuable asset. Research shows that turnover risk tends to be concentrated among specific groups at certain points in their careers. Specifically, those individuals with less than two years on the job expressed the strongest turnover intentions, with more than one-third indicating that they expect to have a new job within one year. Millennials are also a high turnover risk, with 26 percent reporting that they plan to leave their current employer at some point over the course of the year.

To combat employee turnover, we may need to understand not only why people decide to leave, but also why others choose to stay. When asked why they are leaving an organization, among the top reasons people give for their departures is lack of professional growth and development. Likewise, research showed that leadership development opportunities were among the top three most effective retention initiatives for both Millennials and members of Generation X. While financial incentives, or lack thereof, still play a factor in employees’ career decisions, it is no longer a standalone at the top.

The world of work is quickly changing and business leaders should adapt in order to retain top talent. In my experience, some of the most successful retention tools are those surrounding meaningful learning and development programs.

Many companies give sporadic attention to leadership development, confining development to a select few employees, and failing to make long-term investments in leadership. In today’s competitive business environment, and rapidly evolving world of work, organizations should consider continuously develop a robust portfolio of leaders who are ready to engage employees, push forward growth strategies, drive innovation, and work directly with customers. Companies that transform their learning and development organizations are not only able to accelerate skills development, but also can dramatically improve employee engagement and retention.

I encourage business leaders to examine learning management systems and content strategy. Consider creating environments where people are encouraged to learn and expand their thinking. Leadership development is an ongoing process and all professionals play a role, regardless of age or experience.

26 percent of Millennials report that they plan to leave their current employer within the next 12 months.

– Talent 20/20 Survey

HR today requires a new playbook

Read the full Human Capital Trends report to learn about leading in the new world of work.

Effective organizations today are built around highly empowered teams, driven by a new model of management, and led by a breed of globally diverse leaders. They are “different by design." More than 7,000 HR and business leaders from 130 countries responded to this year’s survey. From this research emerged 10 trends in organization design and culture; in learning, leadership, and workforce management; and within the HR function itself.

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