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.
As mass media shows, the young do not always want a promotion. “The Devil Wears Prada” or “The Proposal” show young people preferring assistant’s positions near popular leaders as a stepping stone to better positions in less important companies.
No wonder young people choose a promotion. Usually they are college graduates tired of studying and eager to prove they are worthy. They perceive a promotion as a label that manifests their success to their parents, partners, or college friends.
Some were born to assist and some were meant to be assisted. And this should be counted on when promoting a person.
During an HR talk with one of my employees, I asked, ”What is more important, promotion or development?” The answer was, “To be wanted you need to be a star, and it is better to become a star on your level than a mediocrity on the next one.”