Adult 623 #3: “Own your Own Development

Ask anyone in my volunteer organization about the young people who volunteer.  We love them and could not exist without them! Each fall, the floodgates open when the university is in session.  Over four hundred millennials enter our door to provide countless hours of service to this organization.  No sooner is the calendar year over; we welcome high school students into this non-profit organization with open arms.  We extol their virtues, marvel at their dedication and value their ability to squeeze time into their already busy schedules.

In the same breath, Baby Boomers that I encounter are very quick to list a long litany of grievances with Millennials.  After listening to another diatribe, I admonished the individual by saying that these complaints are no different from the complaints of previous generations.  I took the long extended finger and turned it around.  What is missing I suggested are “Soft Skills.”  If we notice that skills are missing, then we must take responsibility to provide a means for sharing them.

Hilton Worldwide University


Hilton Worldwide, in conjunction with the “Skillsoft” company, provides hundreds of short courses to assist team members.  General Studies College, through Hilton Worldwide University, selects topics and courses that grow team members.

                                                      Highlights of their programs-       

  • Personal Productivity and Email Essentials: Managing your E-Mail:
  • Time Management-Coping with Information Overload
  • Work/Life Balance: Managing Workplace Stress
  • Trust and Commitment-Building Trust Incrementally
  • Innovation and Creativity-Executing Innovation

Hilton assumed a rather traditional approach to learning, according to Skillsoft. In a 2010 case study, Hilton was described as desiring a culture change that required a long-term strategy. The Hotel purchased a wide range of training modules, including the services offered as a part of the “Jump Start” kit available to all team members.

There is not a Standard of Learning in Virginia that addresses these soft skills. This means that these skills will not necessarily be taught in a public school. Soft Skills are essential to the well-being of team members. We take them for granted, yet fail to consider where they are taught. Young employees will not arrive with all of the marketable skills necessary skills for a specific organization and field of work.  It is neither feasible nor realistic to assume that one’s family members will communicate all of the skills needed for any particular position.

Organizations such as Hilton Worldwide embrace organizational learning that meets team members where they live and work.  With an increasing number of electronic tools available for learning, this organization appears to set the standard for others to follow. Training and development for team members at all levels exemplify best practices within the company.

The ability to “take away” ideas from exemplary learning organizations such as Hilton Worldwide is a positive by-product of learning in this course. A similar platform, through an organization such as Softskill, can tailor modules for individuals within a multitude of organizations.  Multiple platforms engage learners in ways that are comfortable to them, an essential component of adult learning.


Something to “really” chew on this time.       The “Jump Start” kit would be a perfect resource for new teachers or those simply new to the school system.





One thought on “Adult 623 #3: “Own your Own Development

  1. Such great points Laurie! There’s really no substitute for the real world and real time experience and rarely do any of us start new endeavors as experts! I’ve admired your dedication to volunteering and youth since our course this summer . And I appreciate your insight and willingness to stand up for Millennials, who you know I feel are often given a bad rep and whose positive skills are often overlooked. I am passionate about development, whether for personal or professional use, so I think that Soft Skills is an excellent addition to any company! Employees will rarely go into a new organization as perfect. Employers should always be willing to take the time to improve upon and teach new staff member’s skills. That’s what human resource development is all about.


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