How to Manage Millennials, According to Goldman Sachs Chief Learning Officer

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As companies face pressure to continue to grow bigger, stronger and more innovative, they’re tasked with not only finding new ways to attract younger, more tech savvy millennial talent, but also with properly grooming the next generation of leaders.

[email protected] recently published a thoughtful interview with Jason Winegard, chief learning office at Goldman Sachs. While his insights are framed from experiences within a vast, multinational financial institution, we find they mirror much of the sentiment we’re hearing from L&D leaders across industries and company size.

We’ve summarized key points below. You can watch a video of the full interview over at [email protected].

      • As companies expand, they bring together multiple populations and generations of employees. It’s the company’s role to help them work effectively together.
      • Products of Baby Boomer parents, millennials have received support and opportunities unlike any other generation. They come with an extensive range of relationships and background experience.
      • Accessibility and communication are key to millennials. They want access to high level info or strategy, and an understanding of how their role, however small, fits into the larger organization.
      • A balanced work culture is very important. This does not mean that millennials do not want to work hard (they do), but they want to feel good about and engaged in their work environment. They ask for predictability and flexibility, and are health conscious.
      • Career orientation is important — millennials don’t expect to stay at the same job their entire career, but are very focused on building transferable skills they can use.
      • Goldman Sachs is focused on developing “Producer Managers” – motivated and impactful individual contributors who can be trained into good managers. Training focuses on how to motivate, communicate and lead others, with emphasis on how to evaluate others objectively, not just subjectively.
      • Corporate learning has traditionally followed a ‘push’ approach, with training delivered through classroom training, retreats, exec ed, etc. Technology allows for more of a ‘pull’ approach, where content can be delivered to employees when they want it – this increases flexibility and empowers the employee to control his/her learning experience.
      • Technology is particularly impactful when it comes to accessibility and scalability. It provides an opportunity for just-in-time learning, and an ability to reach a distributed workforce at the same time. Gamification is growing rapidly in corporate learning. It’s an opportunity to have fun and entertain people, while delivering impactful content. Particularly relevant for millennials, older populations are warming to this as well.
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    • The talent war is escalating. Not just to attract talent, but (more importantly) to retain it. The ease of getting alternative jobs and millennial orientation is making this more of a priority and companies need to focus on it more. Companies like Goldman can no longer rely on their reputations but need to create a culture where people actually want to come in, stay, develop transferable skills and think about longer term opportunities within the firm.
    • The pace of business change is increasing focus on connecting corporate strategy with corporate training. If this isn’t aligned, you end up with a dynamic strategy that can’t be implemented.