Millennials Need Better Soft Skills: 3 Ways Your Business Can Help Young Employees Succeed

benefits of employee training and developmentIt seems like everyone has an opinion on millennials these days. But every generation has both valuable assets and pitfalls. Millennials actually have a lot to offer in the workplace: they’re typically eager to learn and take on new responsibilities, they’re often excellent problem-solvers, and they want to use their time effectively. Therefore, it’s no surprise that millennials may very well help take your company to the next level.

That said, there are countless millennials in the workforce today who could stand to improve upon certain skillsets that aren’t usually covered in a classroom or internship setting: namely, soft skills like communication, collaboration, and the ability to process criticism. Since 85% of managers say soft skills like a strong work ethic and a positive attitude are the most important considerations in choosing a candidate for employment, it’s imperative for millennials to develop their soft skills — if not before they start their job hunt, then certainly after they land the position.

Your business is in a great position to help these employees. Not only will they experience the benefits of employee training and development through personal and professional growth, but your organization will only grow stronger as a result of their training. Below, we’ve outlined a few ways that you can help your youngest employees — and your company as a whole — become more successful by focusing on soft skills training courses and other employee development activities.

Emphasize soft skills in interviews

Hiring mistakes can cost your business precious time and money, so you’ll want to avoid them as much as possible. In interviews, you’ll need to emphasize that you’re looking for more than a candidate who can just do the job as outlined in its description; new hires must also possess soft skills that are valuable to your organization’s growth overall. You’ll need effective communicators with strong work ethics who are ready and willing to collaborate with other team members. Make sure candidates know your company is looking for those who possess positive attitudes, flexibility, and the ability to manage their time wisely. Be sure to structure your interviews to assess whether candidates possess these skills. While shortcomings in these areas aren’t necessarily deal-breakers, it’s important to recognize whether a candidate has the potential to improve upon their skillset — and if they are, provide them with additional training if and when they’re hired.

Provide soft skills training courses

You’ll need to reiterate the importance of soft skills in initial onboarding (also known as employee training). One of the benefits of employee training and development is that you can recognize potential issues before they get worse and address inconsistencies throughout your workforce. Sit down with new hires during their first week or two and address soft skills that may need improvement. Then, you can provide them with the tools to improve upon them. For many millennials, oral and written communication, social skills, and professionalism may need particular attention. Meet every two weeks or so to discuss progress, give feedback, and discuss the next steps. Long-term employees may need similar training courses, as well; even if they aren’t millennials, both they and your organization can still reap the benefits of employee training and development on a regular basis.

Give ongoing support

Mentorship is hugely popular among millennials — more so than with any other generation. Individual attention will go a long way with many of these employees; most are well-aware that no two individuals learn and grow in the exact same way, and many will appreciate a more customized approach to ongoing training. By pairing up your employee with a mentor who possesses the soft skills they need, they’ll have a role model with whom they can communicate about experiences both in the workplace and outside of it. A successful, more established employee can help these younger workers identify what they need to work on and how to achieve their goals.

If your business is struggling to entice millennial employees or cultivate a strong company culture, consider all the benefits of employee training and development. To find out more, contact Black Rain Partners today.

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