People value workplaces that contribute to their personal development as professionals.

Young workers in particular prefer working for companies that invest in developing their capabilities and keeping their skill sets relevant through constant learning and development opportunities:

Deloitte’s research on Millennials shows that this rising generation of business leaders has a relatively high desire to be entrepreneurial, to move into leadership roles, and to have the opportunity to innovate and create.

Very few expect to work for any one company for a long time; they see work as a series of experiences that help them develop over time.

Millennials are already pushing companies to redefine leadership development programs and redesign the work environment. Sixty-six percent of the respondents in our global survey reported that they have “weak” capabilities when it comes to providing focused leadership programs for Millennials. Further, 58 percent of executives reported “weak” capabilities in “providing programs for younger, older, and multi-generation workforces.

Talented people seek out opportunities to grow, and they will flock to organizations that provide ample opportunities to do so. Retention also becomes a non-issue; if people are developing more rapidly than they could anywhere else, why would they leave?

If companies are truly serious about attracting, retaining, and developing high-quality talent, they need to view themselves as growth platforms for talent where people can develop themselves faster than they could elsewhere. This, in turn, can create a self-reinforcing cycle as talent creates more opportunities for growth.

Today’s most talented people of all ages want to work for employers that are committed to developing their skills and capabilities by providing continuous training as well as enriching “tours of duty”—to use a phrase being popularized by Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn—that allow them to work on projects in different parts of the company.

 

High performing companies recognize that success depends on three things: keeping good people, keeping them engaged and productive, and understanding that these two aims are not one and the same.

create opportunities for challenge and development.

Give every employee—not only high performers or leadership candidates—opportunities to build networks within the organization, along with skills and career development opportunities.

According to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends, today’s most successful employment brands align business and corporate objectives with the professional, personal, and social goals of their employees.

They provide an environment where employees believe they are making a difference, not just clocking their time.

 

The secret is designing a suite of systems (work, culture, flexibility, and social and community purpose) that supports a talent experience that makes it easy for individuals to continually reenlist for their tour of duty.

To reach new heights in retention and engagement, world-class managers focus on growing a talent brand that weaves together the critical elements of work itself, the desire for personal growth and development, the power of passion and shared purpose, and the intrinsic reward of serving society as part of a brand of which employees can be proud.

 

Challenge your  HR leaders to structure work, jobs, and development so they are interwoven with what people do—and the company’s employment brand.