When faced with a choice between a promotion or learning and development, some employees might pick the less popular choice. Learning and development can build a person’s professional profile, whereas a promotion might just be a way to make a few extra dollars, take on more responsibility, and in many cases work more overtime. On the other side, many employees will choose the quick promotion and advancement instead of wanting to take the time for a training or professional development program.
A recent study by Quantam Workforce showed how age and tenure affect the desire for promotional opportunities versus learning and development. According to this study, nearly 70% of employees aged 25 and younger, and 60% of those with less than one year of experience in their current position, opted for a promotion instead of professional development.
As an employee gets older, he or she is clearly more likely to opt for learning and development opportunities instead of promotion and advancement opportunities. This leads me to believe that those who are younger are looking for the quick promotion instead of learning and development, and the older workforce wants the exact opposite. Promotions become less important as age increases and learning and development become more valuable. The reason for this is that as people become older, they may tend to think they’re losing touch with modern technology, which will make them irrelevant in the workplace if they can’t stay up to date.
There is a clear relationship between age, tenure in a company, and an employee’s decision to choose a promotion over learning and development. So what does this mean for your company? Here are three quick takeaways to gain from this study.
Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, is an author, speaker, Human Resources professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media. She is the president and CEO of Xceptional HR, and a leader in the HR community with more than 12 years of industry experience. The author of Tweet This! Twitter for Business, Jessica was named by HR Examiner as the second most influential recruiter on the Internet and the seventh most powerful woman on Twitter. She is a columnist for both SmartBrief and The Huffington Post, in addition to Blogging4Jobs and Human Resources One on One. Jessica has been interviewed for professional articles in CIO Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, SHRM’s HR Magazine, and on CBS. Jessica earned a Senior Professional in Human Resources designation in 2008, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Business from Kansas State University. Originally from a small town in Kansas, Jessica currently lives near Oklahoma City with her husband, Greg and daughter, Ryleigh.