Subscribe to our newsletters

2014 HR Trends: Are You Ready for the Changing Leadership and Training Needs of Millennials?


I’m a Millennial. I’ve always scoffed at the talk of how difficult Generation Y is to manage, how needy and entitled we are in the workplace … it seemed like before we even really entered the workforce, our peers had decided how we were going to work based on their relationships with their Generation Y children or their boss’s bratty nephew. After years of reading mixed reviews on Generation Y, we seem to have settled in a place where we can talk objectively about the unique needs and attributes of today’s Millennials.

In the recently released Global Human Capital Trends 2014 report, Deloitte dissected several trends poised to impact HR this year, including the growing importance of mobile and social technologies, the multi-generational workforce, and the changing role of leadership development in the workplace.

Today, leadership challenges facing HR are just different. Tasked with developing multiple generations of leaders, innovating and inspiring a new workforce, and scaling training in a way that engages Millennials without alienating Boomers, HR has its hands full with leadership development and training in 2014.

Millennials currently make up 34% of the global workforce and are projected to make up 75% within the next decade.

Typically understood to be tech-savvy, expecting on-demand training, wanting rapid leadership and growth opportunities, Millennials are also looking for work that inspires their passion and fulfills them beyond their professional goals. That’s a tall order.

Top that with 70% of Millennials wanting to launch their own businesses at some point and only 20% wanting to work in large companies (10,000 employees or more), and you could be tasked with leading and developing an entrepreneurial bunch with high expectations for technological enablement, but with a small-company budget.

One of the key findings from the recent Deloitte report is that there is a huge capabilities gap felt by HR in their readiness to handle changing leadership concerns — so while HR pros listed building global leadership as their top, most urgent priority, they note a lower level of “readiness” to handle the changing needs and expectations.

While Millennials aren’t the only generation influencing the changing role of leadership, with corporate hierarchies flatter than ever before, nearly 45% of Millennials are already in leadership roles, while their Baby Boomer and Generation X peers were less likely to hold leadership roles at this stage in their careers. Millennials also have uniquely high expectations for flexibility and purpose-driven organizations, and are likely using their leadership roles to impact culture for the rest of their teams.

All of these factors mean Millennials are at least partly responsible for HR’s new leadership development challenges — are you prepared to handle the changing expectations of HR’s role in leadership?