National Survey from Online Training Platform Mindflash Reveals Millennial Employees are Taking Their Development into Their Own Hands as a Result – And Cautioning Future Graduates to Do the Same
PALO ALTO, CA – April 16, 2015 – Millennials – the generation that by the end of 2015 is going to be the largest percentage of the American workforce – is voicing strong concern over the lack of career and skill development opportunities at work. According to the national “Millennial Mindset Study” of 1,200 employed millennials conducted by online training platform Mindflash, the “lack of company support for training and development” is the #1 most surprising aspect of work in the “real world.” This reality likely contributes to the fact that the overwhelming majority – 88% – of millennials are willing to invest personally or sacrifice anything from vacations to coffee habits to train themselves in the skills needed to compete in the workforce today.
Many millennials are already putting this commitment into action. One in three (31%) of the employed 18-33 year-old Americans interviewed, most of which have at least seven years of work experience, report that while it is tough to keep up with the skills they need to do their job, they seek out training on their own to address this challenge. Meanwhile, only 20% indicated that while it is hard to keep up with the needed job skills, their employers equip them with necessary training opportunities.
“We at Mindflash felt it was critical to hear directly from these young employees about their work attitudes and experiences – especially so we better understand how to collaborate with, develop and manage this growing corps,” said Donna Wells, CEO, Mindflash. “Perhaps against conventional stereotypes, the majority of millennials are shocked by the lack of skills development available in the workplace today, and is committed to taking matters in their own hands. This should be a signal for companies that both online training and traditional live training will be a critical component of harnessing the potential of these young professionals, especially with graduation season upon us.”
Millennials to Future Graduates: You’re On Your Own for Development
This is likely why the #1 piece of advice millennials have for the 2015 college senior class graduating this year – according to nearly 40 percent of millennials – is this: “invest in your own skills training to make you as marketable as possible.” This beat out other advice such as “be proactive” (28%), “go in guns blazing” (6%) and “start your own company” (4%).
Where Millennials — Many of them Managers — Say They Need the Most Help
Despite that more than half (57%) of millennials report they have managed or currently manage at least one person, there are areas where they want and need help. When it comes to their assessment of their own skills gaps, “project management” (25%) emerged as the top leadership skill that millennials want to develop, followed by “interpersonal communication” (21%) and “problem solving” (20%).
So while they recognize there is room for improvement, millennials are also aware that negative stereotypes exist around them. More than one quarter, 26 percent, say the biggest misconception is that “we don’t know how to communicate because we spend too much time with technology,” followed closely by “we’re overconfident and self-centered” and “we don’t want any guidance, training or input.”
One area where millennials strongly assert they thrive in managerial roles specifically, however, is in bringing fresh thinking (26%) and open-mindedness (31%) to the workplace, rating these attributes over technological savvy as the chief benefits of having millennials in manager roles. Perhaps the self-reported spirit of fresh thinking is in dire need. When asked which TV show relates most to their work life, more than one-third of millennials chose “The Office” since it’s “a bit on the ordinary side.”
Millennials Would Rather Have Free Fitness Training than Skills Training
Though they are surprised by the lack of employer-led development opportunities and are cautioning their successors to be prepared to fend for themselves when it comes to learning, millennial employees are only willing to go so far for their own training and development. In fact, when asked which non-monetary benefit would make them most loyal to their employers, almost half (49%) reported employee perks are the way to their hearts, with another 26% choosing “invest in my career by training me.” Additionally, when asked if they could be trained in anything free of charge, the largest majority (46%) opted for free physical fitness training over complimentary “career development/job growth.”
For more information about Mindflash, which delivered two million training courses in 2014 alone to more than 1,000 customers, visit: www.mindflash.com.
The data reported here are based on a survey administered to 1,200 participants between March 31 and April 2, 2015. In order to qualify for the survey, respondents had to be in the 18-33 age group, and employed full time or part time. Survey participants were recruited from the panels maintained by Research Now, the world’s largest provider of digital data collection solutions.
All sample surveys and polls may be subject to multiple sources of error, including, but not limited to sampling error, coverage error, and measurement error. A true probability sample of 1,200 respondents will yield aggregate estimates with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent in 95 out of 100 cases. Because the sample in this study is based on those who initially self-selected to participate in Research Now’s panels, rather than a true probability sample, no estimates of sampling error can be calculated.
Mindflash provides the leading online platform for employee and customer training. Its cloud-based, simple yet powerful design allows businesses to more easily create and manage critical company training programs—saving them significant time and money. No engineering or IT support is required, as there is no software to install or maintain. Courses are created using the file types that businesses already use (PowerPoint, PDF, Word, video, audio). Trainers simply upload and organize files using an intuitive course dashboard, add quizzes and then publish to the web to create self-paced new hire training, sales training, customer certification courses, etc. As needed, the software scales to support thousands of simultaneous training sessions. Mindflash has over 1,000 customers including McDonalds, Microsoft, Lufthansa and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Founded in 1999, Mindflash is a privately held company and headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif. To learn more, please visit www.mindflash.com.
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