5 Companies That Have Mastered Leadership Development For Millennials

August 20, 2015

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A succession management plan that prioritizes leadership development ensures your company will have a solid pipeline for years to come, improving retention and reducing recruiting costs.


However, the newest generation to hit the job market is challenging leadership development as most companies know it. Millennials are initiating many positive changes, shaking up the traditional workplace for the better.


Companies that embrace the leadership potential of Millennials tend to be faster to adapt to the rapidly-changing business climate and achieve more profitability.


Here are five companies that have been widely recognized for their approach to leadership development for Millennials and what you can learn from them. 


1. Power Home Remodeling – Chester, PA


Ranked No. 1 on Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work for Millennials, the home renovation company nurtures a corporate culture of ambition and puts the needs of its Millennial employees at the forefront of its training and development programs. Both of the company’s CEOs are Millennials, as well as 84 percent of its staff, with an average age of 29 years old. But what makes them stand out?


The company has strategic plans for every move they make, and at the center of those plans is a goal to make a positive impact on everything they touch, according to its career page.


Power makes it clear it embraces upward mobility and is committed to facilitating Millennials’ personal and professional development. It provides engaging training sessions and conferences, and it has a leadership model built on mentorships.


2. Acuity Insurance – Sheboygan, WI


In addition to perks such as unlimited tuition reimbursement, extensive medical plans, and a 10 percent employer match on 401(k) contributions, Acuity management takes employees’ suggestions into consideration, no matter their level.


Acuity empowers its employees by keeping them informed on the state of the business and encourages them to provide feedback on the company’s future. In addition to inviting all employees to participate in the company’s strategic planning, Acuity sponsors “Lunch with an Officer,” where every employee is given the opportunity to dine with the C-Suite. Leaders encourage employee creativity, which is not necessarily the norm in the insurance industry, but can be demonstrated by this employee video.


By having an active role in the future of the company, employees are able to develop skills that are vital to leadership positions.


3. Ultimate Software – Weston, FL


The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows employees are only staying in their positions for an average of 4.6 years.


For Millennials, that number is significantly lower at just 3.2 years. So having Millennial employees celebrate seven years with Ultimate Software says the cloud-based provider of human resource management software must be doing something right. The company offers its employees many perks and challenges, including online management training, even for non-managers, and an onsite management program led by the company’s COO, Marc Scherr. The annual, two-day leadership development initiative, LeadUS, is for all employees at the management level or above.


Rather than presenting at a podium, Scherr sits round table-style with participants and encourages feedback and interaction. Throughout the rest of the event, which includes dinners and cocktail hours, the CEO, COO and CPO mingle with participants and work to get to know their leaders on a more personal level.


4. Workday – Pleasanton, CA


Millennials are always looking for new challenges and ways to let their creativity flow in the workplace. At Workday, a cloud-based provider of HR and finance software, the company seems to have perfected the balance between challenging work and a fun environment.


In its Technology Services and Product Management rotational programs, Workday encourages its team members to try out different roles within the company to expand their working knowledge of the industry and their skill capabilities. They focus on career mentorship within these programs to help employees figure out what they are best at and what they really want to do with their careers. Workday will even send their employees overseas if the opportunity arises.


The Services Development program prepares employees to become Workday consultants and enhances their knowledge of the company’s product line, as well as in areas such as public speaking and customer relations.


5. Chili’s – Dallas, TX


The casual dining favorite ranked just outside of Fortune’s Top 10, coming in at number 11. Their leadership development programs, however, outpaced several others in the top 10 with the company providing 400 hours of annual training to full-time associates.


Chili’s offers a variety of training and development programs. It hosts monthly one-on-one meetings between staff members and human resources specialists to discuss their potential, set goals, and determine how to help team members achieve them. The company allows team members to take courses while they’re on the job, and 11 of Chili’s courses are accredited by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service for credit toward Associate’s and Bachelor’s programs.


It also offers a variety of e-learning courses, a strong mentoring program, and an annual conference to meet some of the best in the business.


Taking A Proactive Approach To Developing Millennials


These five companies understand that engaging and developing high-potential employees—particularly Millennials—requires an ongoing, innovative approach. It requires an investment of both time and money, but studies have shown it pays real dividends when done well. The Center For Creative Leadership found 65 percent of companies with mature succession management programs were effective at driving business results through leadership skills, compared to just 6 percent of companies without these programs. 


Your company’s leadership initiatives should match your business objectives and create an environment where employees of all generations can thrive.


To achieve the best return on your investment, you must first identify the right employees and develop programs tailored to their needs.


OnPoint Consulting has more than a decade of expertise in this area. Our team can help yours use robust assessments to select high-potential employees and nurture them with a multi-faceted approach.


To learn more about how we use a unique approach to identify and develop leaders, download our program guide.

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