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Professional Development

Professional development for all employees—not just some

April 11, 2022
If your company focuses too much on catering to millennials, it risks underserving baby boomers and Gen Xers, who in turn feel ignored and underappreciated.

Much of the focus in the hiring and retention conversation resolves around attracting young people to the trucking industry. And while I agree the industry has a lot of work to do when it comes to attracting younger workers, I came across a recent report that looked at disparities in the ways companies handle career growth and development for a range of ages.

The report, issued by 15Five, found that there are significant generational differences when it comes to career paths. The executive summary of the report states: “For older Americans—those 55 years and older—this latest data is both revealing and unsettling. It also offers a window into why so many resigned during the pandemic. Our research shows ageism is prevalent in the workplace, with a lack of managerial support and career guidance for the Gen X demographic and above.”

See also: Business as usual will not win the day in trucking

This is important because for many employees, even older ones, having a career path is one of the things that keeps them tied to your business. Baby boomers still make up a quarter of the workforce and Gen Xers account for one-third of all employees. Focusing only on millennials means you run the risk of making older workers feel underappreciated.

According to the report, people over the age of 45 are more likely to have an employer who doesn’t provide any professional development resources, with 47.1% acknowledging

they aren’t given resources, compared to 27.3% of those under the age of 45. This is a misstep, especially given the fact that many people are working beyond what has traditionally been considered retirement age.

One of the top reasons people give for leaving their job is lack of management support. Failure to provide professional development to some employees can be seen as lack of support. Now is a good time to review where you are at in terms of providing professional development resources for all your employees, not just ones of a certain generation or two. When you find gaps, take the time to fill them so that you have an end-to-end professional development program for all employees, no matter where they are in their career.

Jane Clark focuses on managing the member services operation at NationaLease as vice president of member services. She works to strengthen member relationships, reduce member costs, and improve collaboration within the NationaLease supporting groups.

About the Author

Jane Clark | Senior VP of Operations

Jane Clark is Senior Vice President, Operations for NationaLease. Prior to joining NationaLease, Jane served as Area Vice President for Randstad, one of the nation’s largest recruitment agencies, and before that, she served in management posts with QPS Companies, Pro Staff, and Manpower, Inc.

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