Engaging millennials in corporate training
Millennials are typically young people born between 1981 and 2000. Most of them have already entered the workforce, with some of them already in managerial positions. Millennials make up almost half of the entire workforce, with the numbers continually rising. Even if they aren’t now, they are tomorrow’s leaders.
Most managers are aware that millennials are different from Generation X and Baby Boomers, in terms of how they think, work, and play. Millennials tend to be raised with technology in their lives from an earlier age than ever before and as a result tend to (but not always!) multitask easily yet, they can also be more prone to distractions.
Some might perceive millennials as: knowing what they want and having a strong will to achieve it, being more creative and ambitious and being able to access information which is readily available at the tip of their fingers thanks to mobile devices.
With the above in mind, you might want to consider your approach to training specifically for your millennial audience. Understanding what makes them tick can help to bring out the best in them leading to increased motivation and in turn, increased productivity.
Here are some of our tips at Cegos, to help engage your millennial Learner audience:
Information organisation and relevance to the job
With the large influx of information available on the internet, knowing what information to access and how it might fit in with the individual’s knowledge gaps, can seem overwhelming leaving the millennial with big question marks. A Google search on any given topic can yield hundreds of thousands of results which may not even be close to what a millennial is looking for.
Millennials just entering the workplace will likely find it difficult to navigate which of the information is important for their development and so having an experienced manager to guide them and help sort through the information, is incredibly helpful.
A well designed corporate training framework within the company can also help to ensure that information is organised for teams in bite-sized pieces which can be particularly useful for millennials by guiding them towards information in a targeted manner, relevant to their needs. This will help them to connect the dots and see how any given training helps them to succeed in their role. They will likely be more receptive to the training if they have a better understanding of the expected outcomes and how they are to transfer this learning back into the workplace.
Tap on their passions and talents
Every millennial is different. They are individuals after all. They all have their various talents and passions, which can help the company soar to even greater heights. Managers should spend time talking to each team member one-on-one in order to get to know them better, how they work, their interests etc.
Keep a profile file for all your team members, and write down their hobbies, passions, talents, and individual character traits. Try to match each team member to the tasks that match their interests, capabilities and passion. You can also use this same profile file to assign tailored corporate training courses, to assist with each individual’s development. Remember, you want to stretch them and keep them motivated to learn more and grow.
By doing so, your millennials will see that you pay special attention to each team member making them more likely to respond in a positive manner. Having tailored training for each team member will also encourage them to be more engaged in the training especially if you have been vigilant in identifying the relevant training based upon their specific development needs and aspirations.
Keep it tech-savvy, interactive and visual
Millennials are raised with technology from a very early age and because of this they have a special connection with it on a sometimes intimate level. They complete their schoolwork using computers and even smartphones, keep in contact using skype and WhatsApp, buy their prom dress online, and relax with online multiplayer games or videos.
A lot of their daily activities revolve around technology, so for many, it is second nature to search for information at the drop of a hat.
There is a place therefore for online corporate training, even if it is only to a partial extent. Millennials enjoy using technology to learn, so eLearning suits this group. It’s fun, interactive, can be done anywhere and costs the company far less than traditional classroom training.
Elearning content should not be heavy and if anything, it should incorporate more gamification-type elements which involve team mates. For example, a team mate might ask a question, and the others in the group can answer it via the platform and earn points or badges as they compete against each other. Gamifying the whole eLearning training is good for millennials as it can be a competitive yet more casual way to learn, meaning they are able to absorb more whilst enjoying the experience throughout the entire learning process.
Remember, your millennials are tomorrow’s leaders.
We’ve done a lot of research into the 2020 workplace. You can download our free white paper titled ‘Leading & Managing in the 2020 multi-dimensional workplace’ and others for free on our Resources page here /research-papers/