This is our final blog in a series of three that addresses what CNAs value at work. The first blog in this series addressed what CNAs look for in an organization: strong values, a clear career path, and skills investments. Our last blog covered what they are looking for in a supervisor: constructive peer management and overall flexibility.
In this segment, we will examine what millennials want when it comes to their personal development. What do they need to stay put? With unemployment at historic lows and tightening demographics around retiring boomers, (there aren’t as many millennials coming up as there are boomers retiring — yikes!), this generation of employees has more choices than ever in where they choose to spend their working lives.
EdAssist, an industry leader in talent management, reports that a whopping 59% of job seekers now report professional development as a determinant in their decision of where to work. That means that all things being equal, new hires will choose the company that provides them with the most development opportunities.
So what do CNAs want in the way of personal development? Let’s look at the five major things we can do to provide a workplace of choice for our CNAs:
- They want technical skills in their area of expertise. If you were with us for the last blog, you’ll remember that clear career path was a key driver for what CNAs want from an organization. Drill that down a bit, and we can see that millennials want to master the technical aspects of their job. They will want education programs that mirror the real world and will complain loudly if what they are taught does not match the job itself, so make sure you have alignment there. Sometimes it takes an outsider to look at your environment with a fresh set of eyes in order to see areas of improvement.
- They want self-management and personal productivity lessons. It’s crucial to remember they are young and new to the workforce. They acknowledge the need for guidance with professional skills and attributes. Many organizations offer these types of courses as electives for their millennial workforce to develop themselves.
- They want leadership. Millennials expect strong, transparent leaders that they can respect and learn from. Always make sure your proclaimed culture matches your culture-in-action. Remember, new employees have their radar up to validate whether or not they have made the correct decision to come into your organization. They can spot a mismatch on this from a mile away. It will impact them negatively, so make sure your line managers, nursing supervisors and peers all exhibit the culture you seek.
- They want industry and functional knowledge. We here at Straightaway call this the “Big Why.” Are you teaching with experiential context just the steps involved in the process of getting something accomplished? Context, or the Big Why, makes it easier for new hires to use their brain power to solve problems. If you never teach the why, your work staff won’t be able to make proper decisions.
- Lastly, they are looking to be a part of creative, innovative strategies. In our first blog, we wrote about how millennials want an organization that will help develop their skills for the future. Not only do millennials want a career progression, but they are all about innovation. If you want to change a process or include innovation in your delivery of services, put some millennials on the committee! Just think about it, they were actively involved in the adoption of Apple products, Instagram, Uber and all the other social media platforms and disruptive innovations we now take for granted. If you want to lose a CNA over time, don’t let them weigh in on any new products or services.
If your organization is looking for innovative ways to combat CNA turnover, let us help you examine the issue. There are a lot of areas you can examine that we’ve covered in this series. It isn’t that millennials are all that different from any other generation. It’s just that their world is much different from the world we grew up in. Their options are greater and their expectations are higher. A comprehensive look at culture, supervision, and development can go a long way to keep CNAs in their seats.