Employees are content just to get a sweet paycheck and a pat on the back, right? Not anymore.
An overwhelming body of research reveals that Gen Z (people born between 1997 to 2012) and millennials (born 1981 to 1996) view employee development opportunities as an essential part of employment. For example, LinkedIn’s 2021 Workplace Learning Report found that upwards of 76% of workers born after 1980 view abundant professional education as crucial to their success.1
This yearning for learning reflects a more prevalent appetite for upward mobility than in previous generations. In an August 2019 study, Australian research firm McKindle found 63% of Gen Z workers regarded internal promotion opportunities as a top factor in how long they stay with an employer.2
And as for prior generations? Not so much. A 1977 survey of over 1,200 US workers reported that a whopping 87% of respondents felt at least "moderately" satisfied with their jobs. This wasn’t because of promotional aspirations, though—only 16% perceived they had a “good” chance of scoring a promotion.3 Instead, those surveyed ranked interesting work, the chance to make friends, and job security as the top factors behind their professional happiness.
Beyond job satisfaction and employer loyalty, training programs also help close gaps in employee equity. For example, learning a new skill on the job can help a person overcome past systemic barriers to education. This also boosts morale while improving retention rates and helping solve societal inequalities—indeed, a winning proposition for all.