By: Mike Gilhooly, Public Affairs Manager
August 8, 2013
Chief Learning Officer, a magazine that reports on workforce and learning development, interviewed Sarah Doll, Enova’s senior director of talent management in a recent issue. The article explored what recent college grads are looking for in the way of on-the-job training and what they can expect from today’s employers.
A recent survey by Accenture Institute for High Performance reported 77 percent of new grads expect some continuing education from their employers, but only 48 percent of 2011 and 2012 college graduates reported receiving any. Some employers, however, see “on-boarding” in a different light. In the article, Doll describes what her department does to overcome what has the potential to be a serious discrepancy both for recent college graduates and for employers.
More than 80 percent of Enova’s workforce is millennial, so the company does everything it can to take into account those employees’ needs and strengths, she said. “The key is to take an in-the-moment, hands-on approach to training.” Enova offers employees a wide range of continuing education opportunities, from software and programming training to individual on-the-job mentoring, to dozens of tech conferences and English-as-a-second-language classes. At its Chicago headquarters, Enova employees come from Chicago and around the globe.
“Classroom training is not typically the best way to go with Gen Y, because they really want that one-on-one interaction,” said Doll. New employees are given meaningful, long-term projects as soon as they start, so they’re adding value, becoming invested and continuously learning, said Doll. She sees Gen Y employees learn and become productive faster if they have more on-the-job training.
And that may help Enova retain the employees they value. Another study cited in the article reports that 80 percent of employees in their 20s desire a career change. So why not just hire in another age group? Gen Y people “are extremely motivated, come with fresh ideas, and they really drive our projects. If those qualities are valuable to companies,” Doll said, “they need to understand what Gen Y wants and needs.”