Millennials: A little lost, a lot of opportunity

As the CEO of a company that provides high-end leadership development experiences, what I’m about to tell you is not in my best interest. But here it goes…

We surveyed 526 Millennials to understand their attitudes towards leadership, how they view their own development needs, and what training (if any) they have received from employers. One of the results was particularly surprising.

Of all the different leadership development activities that we asked about, Millennials overwhelmingly wanted the least expensive on the list: career coaching and mentorship.

Why do Millennials want coaching and mentorship?

For one, coaching and mentorship are inherently individual and personal; people will always be drawn to these types of activities. (Perhaps it’s not surprising that e-Learning, the most impersonal of leadership development activities on the list, came in dead last.)

More importantly, though, Millennials’ yearning for coaching and mentorship is a consequence of the age that we live in. It is an age of rapid change and uncertainty, where we are constantly bombarded by seemingly limitless alternatives and a unrelenting litany of updates about our friends’ and colleagues’ triumphs. #FOMO

In the midst of this haste and hyper-connectivity, Millennials are just looking for a little guidance. Can you blame them?

An opportunity for companies to develop and engage Millennials

According to our survey, only 45% of the Millennials surveyed had access to a coach or mentor in the last 12 months. In the narrowest sense, employers of Millennials have an opportunity to provide these resources. (And, there are exciting startups like Talentedly that are make coaching relevant and accessible.)

More broadly, there is an opportunity for companies to help their Millennial employees discover their passion, then align that passion with their career path. Millennials may be a little lost, but the companies that help them find their way will be rewarded in the form of higher productivity, engagement, and retention.