Why the 'trophy generation' want to do L&D their own way

by L&D04 May 2016
Millennials are more demanding of their managers than any other generation before them but – according to one top executive – today’s leaders can live up to expectations because they’ve got tech on their side.

“Companies are now serving the trophy generation which is the millennials who always need a pat on the back and compliments of how great they’re doing,” said Jason Corsello, VP at Cornerstone OnDemand in New York.

Corsello acknowledged the challenges that many HR professionals are facing on a daily basis thanks to the multi-generational workforce, but added millennials are disrupting the status quo more than any other generation.

“The younger demographic has certainly changed the expectation of what management is and how we manage them so they’re changing a lot of what we do in talent management today,” he asserted.

Corsello said that young employees expect HR initiatives to be more tailored to their own specific needs, rather than just suiting the interests of the business.

“Learning and development is becoming much more self-directed,” he said.

“Instead of the company saying; ‘Go take this training,’ the younger workforce wants to pursue the training that they care about and they want to be developed in ways that they care about – it’s not necessarily what the company cares about.”

He said the younger generation also expects performance management to be more continuous and convenient for them – “They want to know how they’re doing at any given point of time and they want to know how they can get better,” he explained.

“It’s certainly becoming much more frequent, much more self-directed by the employees themselves, so it’s definitely shifted from being employer driven to being employee driven.”

Corsello said HR professionals would struggle to keep up with the millennials high expectations if they didn’t have rapidly-developing technology on their side.

“HR technology has changed dramatically over the last 10 years – even the last five years – so it’s flipped HR upside down in the last decade or so,” he said.

“In the past, you’d have to rely on some level of expertise, some IT person to make changes to the system, but today any administrator with very limited technology skills can make changes to HR technology.

“It’s another way of being more transparent and creates that level of engagement between manager and employee which you do in a different way today.

“Transparency is really the big driver that helps managers and employees get and stay on the same page.”