Professional development is an integral part of employees work lives

Four out of five employees in this study reported participating in mandatory or voluntary training of some nature in the past 12 months. Millennials in the workforce reported participating in some type of training at a rate three times higher than Baby Boomers. Participation rates were similar for technology- and cybersecurity-related training, but diverged in areas such as social media training and team-building training.

Attitudes towards training are overwhelmingly positive

The majority of workers, especially younger workers would like to see more training/professional development at their companies. About a fourth of millennial workers would like to see significantly more training. Training is seen as absolutely necessary to stay abreast with the latest developments, and is an important contributing factor to job satisfaction. Younger workers note that support for and encouragement to pursue training builds loyalty to their companies.

Variety of training methods are used

Conventional tools such as self-study guides, informal training, or classroom sessions and newer methods such as e-learning are all part of the training arsenal today’s employees have at their disposal. The data confirms that a range of factors may influence training decisions, such as learning style, accessibility, time, and resources. Across generations employees are looking for more time set aside for comprehensive training as evidenced by the demand for cross-training and more follow-up after training.

Training preferences are influenced by type of material being covered

Across generations, when material is specific and relevant to their jobs, employees indicate they prefer in-person or face-to-face training. This preference extends to Millennial workers - contrary to the stereotype that younger workers want everything online/in a digital form. Although it should be noted, younger workers report using e-learning at notably higher rates than older workers, a reflection of the many nuances of the training discussion. For material and topics that could be characterized as non-job specific and general in nature (think sexual harassment training), respondents tend to prefer online training. When training is not specific to their jobs, employees prefer avenues where the pace of training can be more autonomously controlled. The data suggests younger workers are more open to methods like video snippets, mobile elements, or incorporating social media when it comes to more informal training.