Deloitte published a large-scale survey of Millennial employees (and 1,844 Gen-Z workers) that revealed critical gaps in skill development. In the study, respondents listed job skills they felt were essential and how well they felt their employer fared in helping them develop those skills.
Here’s where the four biggest gaps are, and how to start closing them:
LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner recently named communications/interpersonal skills the number one biggest skill gap in the U.S.
The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that is has taken place. How often have you been in meetings where everyone was just talking past each other, where someone was droning on and causing their audience to tune out, or so many things were left unsaid that a meeting after the meeting was required?
There are many ways to dramatically improve employee communication skills. It starts with realizing it’s an area in need of improvement and requires a willingness to invest in helping employees get better.
The fact that Millennials (and Gen-Z) are looking for help here isn’t surprising. Research shows self-reported emotional well-being on college campuses is at the lowest level since it’s been measured. It’s a direct side effect of the high pressure and low self-esteem students feel.
If you need more tangible proof of this phenomenon, look to Yale University, where a recent course broke the record for the largest enrollment ever. An astonishing 1200 students, one-quarter of Yale’s student body, signed up for a class on… happiness? These are your younger employees not so long ago.
And if you’re thinking the youth will “get over it,” think again. In research for my book Find the Fire, I surveyed over 1,000 executives (of all ages) and asked if they’d felt a material dip in their self-confidence and self-esteem based on something that happened at work in the past six months. An incredible 93 percent said they had.
The most important thing you can do on this front is realize we’re at crisis levels of low confidence in the workplace, and that as leaders, with your words and actions, you can either plant seeds of growth or seeds of doubt. Be intentional about doing the former.
When I was with Procter & Gamble, I liked our use of the famous P&G one-page memo–much maligned but undeniably powerful for forcing young executives to think critically and to condense their arguments and recommendations down to a page. It was that old Mark Twain quip come to life: “If I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.”
To jump-start critical thinking skills:
We all want to bring our unique creations to the world. When we’re in an environment where that gets stifled, a deep lack of fulfillment settles in. Here’s how to help get employees’ creativity flowing:
So help close these skill gaps and maybe you’ll stop-gap the outflow of young talent.
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