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Training and Development – A Benefit in Progress

The Fascination for Knowledge

Millenials grew up with access to the latest technology and the Internet but they also saw the market crash in 2008. The increasingly high cost of living changed their outlook for the future and led them to reexamine their career goals. Nowadays, more Millennials are choosing to take advantage of obtaining a graduate degree in order to increase their chances of obtaining a well-paying job in an increasingly competitive market. For some, however, going back to school is simply a way to satisfy their craving for learning.

Continuing Education

Training and DevelopmentA recent study from Forbes showed that Millennials value training and development the highest among the dozen categories of benefits offered in the workplace. These results showed that Millennials want to continuously learn new things and develop skills as they grow in their careers.

The Challenges in Training and Development

Training costs money and since government agencies have a responsibility to tax payers to use funds appropriately on every level of the organization, getting approval for training courses and other professional development programs for agency employees can be challenging at times. There’s the approval process, which in itself can take ages. Then there’s always the possibility of pushback from higher ups because the program office do not have the budget or the resources to cover your absence. If government agency practices continue to derail opportunities for information starved Millennials, they are in danger of losing emerging leaders in government. TinyPulse, an organization that studies employee engagement and retention stated that 75% of Millennials would consider leaving their job if they don’t see options for professional development. This telling statistic makes it clear that Millennials consider training and professional development a priority and a major deciding factor in their careers.

How to Find the Balance?

Training and DevelopmentIt can be frustrating when something like government bureaucracy prevents you from getting approval for training that will enhance your skills in your current role. The best thing to do is to remain pro-active when it comes to your career and take advantage of every resource available to you including those outside of your agencies. Keep in mind that professional and even personal development opportunities can come in different forms. Some are through formal channels such as agency driven organizational initiatives like shadow and mentor programs, lunch and learn meetings, and/or lecture series presented at your agencies. You can also take advantage of the vast amount of internet-based trainings available for free and professional organizations such as Young Government Leaders that offer similar opportunities. Finally, come up with a strong case as to why a training or conference is important for your development as an employee and volunteer to share lessons learned with the agency upon return. Work with your supervisor and director in developing an individual development plan because understanding the barriers to accessing training and development in your organization will help you close that gap.

This article was written by By Doniella McKoy

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