Value of experience is the premise of the 2015 movie, The Intern. In this film, a successful startup online clothing company CEO (Anne Hathaway), is pleasantly surprised by the wisdom and contribution of her new intern (Robert DeNiro). The film highlights both the exciting, creative, Millennial workforce as well as the value of age and experience in the realm of business. Although the clash of generational cultures is very amusing, the emphasis on the friendship between generations is the most rewarding.
This is not a movie review, nevertheless, the film touches on a real concern regarding the future of leadership in our nation. It has been said that as senior management in businesses and associations retires, there will be a leadership vacuum that their Millennial replacements will not be adequately trained to fill. As satisfying as it may be to retiring managers to know that their experience is invaluable, the future success of the businesses hang in the balance, unless the next generation is sufficiently trained and mentored.
Highly educated and tech savvy Millennials may have the edge on their predecessors in regard to technology, but they are also the first to admit their need of education and training on the job. A recent workplace survey conducted by public relations firm, Finn Partners, states, “New research finds that Americans believe the most important initiative companies can undertake is investing in their employees through training and growth opportunities, followed by recruiting and retention of talent.” Results also state that the majority of every age group would go back to school for more education if given the opportunity, with 74% of Millennials surveyed in the lead.
A study of our own membership, conducted in 2015, corroborates these results. Our Millennial members expect us to provide them with current industry trends and information. One younger member writes, “Value for me is education at this point in my career. Therefore, the educational sessions (at the National Conventions) are what I want to see and hear.”
Expert speakers and educational seminars may be venues for conveying industry trends, but the education and training needed to develop leadership must be taken on by senior members/leaders in companies. Mentoring programs, internships, and shadowing opportunities provide the framework for such training. So if you’re a Millennial reading this article today, look for a mentor and take initiative in the relationship. If you are the seasoned supervisor, it is your responsibility to prepare the next generation to take your place. Give these young, eager Millennials the guidance and opportunities they need to blossom under your tutelage. As Ben Whittaker (DeNiro) would say, “You’re never wrong to do the right thing.”
Lawrence, Chistopher. “REGARDLESS OF RACE, AMERICANS SIGNIFICANTLY VALUE TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES OVER DIVERSITY PROGRAMS, NEW STUDY REVEALS – Finn Partners.” FinnPartners.com. N.p., 26 Jan. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.
Bascuas, Katie. “Tapping Training and Development For Top Talent.” RSS 20. Associations Now, 04 Feb. 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.
“The Intern – Official Movie Site – Trailer, Film Synopsis – Own It On Digital HD 12/22 Or On Blu-Ray™ 1/19.” The Intern – Official Movie Site – Trailer, Film Synopsis – Own It On Digital HD 12/22 Or On Blu-Ray™ 1/19. 2015 Warner Bros, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.