By 2020, 35% of the workforce will consist of Millennials, with a further 24% attributed to Gen Z workers. This means that employers will need to ditch old-fashioned and negative epithets and begin embracing the talents and knowledge that these generations bring.

Millennials are often lumped with the stereotype of being ‘entitled’, however, this is often due to the fact that they are frustrated with working in environments which are run in an outdated and rigid way, with many managers failing to make changes and do things in a different way.

Millennials and Gen Z have grown up almost entirely online and as a result, they have exceptional technological skills, pushing them far ahead of their predecessors. Many Millennials, in particular, understand at least basic coding and HTML, due to sites like MySpace, accompanied with their natural creativeness they are ideal employees for businesses looking to evolve their digital capabilities.

Skill transference

Millennials are very good at taking their existing skills and using them to achieve an alternative goal. However, many managers find that Millennials become frustrated in their organisation due to the rigidity of the corporation and its inability or failure to change with the times.

With Millennials accustomed to teaching themselves skills, they often dislike workplaces where rigidity is rife. Therefore, employers should ensure that they are able to adapt with the times and address current strategies and ways of working to ensure that they are utilising their natural skills sets to improve business practices offering a workplace culture that nurtures them.

Alternative skills gaps

Although Millennials bring in a wealth of skills that many industries are lacking in, primarily within technology and IT, there are areas in which Millennials and Gen Z are lacking key business skills. With recent reports revealing that many Millennials are lacking in negotiation skills, many employers should look to experiential training programmes that support the younger workers in developing these skills.

For Millennials, their soft skills, such as emotional intelligence, people skills and cooperation are often much more prevalent than traditional business skills. For some businesses, traditional business practices may not be relevant any more, but for industries including banking and finance, there is still a requirement to have these basic skills.

For employers, they should look to implement training programmes to bridge any Millennial and Gen Z skills gaps. This may differ from traditional training programmes in that they will need to be focused on ‘on-the-job’ training, experiential and business simulation training.

Training for retention

The UK’s top performing companies are recognised for putting their employees learning and personal development at the centre of their business strategy. With learning and development so critical to the success of a company and critical to reducing staff turnover, management and boards who fail to implement effective talent management and training systems will likely end up spending more on recruiting new staff.

Skills development, whether this is social or practical skills, need to be at the core of the business objectives. With human resource proving to be the most expensive cost for any business, it is of critical importance that talented individuals are nurtured and given opportunities to grow within the workplace. Without this, they will likely turn to your competitors to offer them the opportunities they seek.