ELECTRICAL DISTRIBUTION EXECUTIVES ARE KEENLY attuned to the critical role that Millennials will play in the industry’s ongoing success. “By 2020, Millen- nials will be half of the workforce,” noted Jackie Bardoorian, director of leadership development for Rexel USA. “We aim to cap- ture their hearts and minds.” Bardoorian cited three dominant Millen- nial values as the pillars of the two-year-long leadership development program that her team launched in October 2016, building on an existing program: “We know that Millennials have a high need for personal connections and that they want to learn new skills. We also know that, in the workplace, it’s impor- tant to them to con- nect to a larger purpose. So we built a program around this.” Leadership training for Rexel USA mem- bers in their first year of employment is blended and national, employing a network- ing function of the com- pany’s learning manage- ment system. “Millennials have already built strong personal relation- ships through social media. We are helping them build strong professional networks too—national networks with a lot of opportunities for exposure to upper management,” Bar- doorian said. Through monthly meetings, pre- sentations, and proj- ects, participants culti- vate the knowledge and skills they need to “become exceptional individual contributors and leaders”—per the program’s statement of purpose. According to Bardoorian, some of the projects address Mil- lennials’ desire to con- nect to a larger pur- pose: “Our members work on projects out- side their areas of re- sponsibility and exper- tise to gain a broader perspective on the entire business.” The program differs from traditional learn- ing experiences, Bar- doorian said, in that it provides a framework and foundation, placing responsibility on the individual to complete the developmental process by applying his or her newly gained knowledge and skills.
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