5 Essentials of Effective Corporate Training for Millennials
By popular definition, the millennial generation was born between 1980 and 1999. Also known as Generation Y, this generation has made an exigent impact on the workplace. However, most companies still have to determine ways to incorporate them in the profession and make use of their skills completely. Millennials are poised to be a powerful driver of the economy in the future. They are going to bring a metamorphosis in today’s workplace and businesses. But the change should be two-fold. If an organization is going to realize millennials’ maximum potential, it’s essential to train them effectively with special attention to their unique characteristics.
1. Focus on Instant Delivery
Millennials thrive on mobile technology. According to a Pew Research Center study, 92 percent of young adults own a smartphone. The same figure drops to 88 percent for adults in the age group 30-49. Mobile is popular because it delivers instant information. Training should include mobile as one of its main components if it will live up to the “instant consumption” culture of the millennials.
Millennials are heavily dependent on smartphones to find answers to all kind of problems. So why not develop a training module that uses mobile as a delivery channel? A mobile app where learners can access the content instantly from anywhere makes more sense for the millennials than for any other generation.
A major focal point while developing training programs for millennial workers is engagement. Include techniques and methods that will help millennials focus their attention enough to learn. Although there is nothing new about games, today, we have reached a confluence of technology and learning where games seem to have the superpower to engage us when we most need it. It is not too difficult to incorporate them into training programs.
Multiple surveys over the last 50 years reveal that employees are motivated by intrinsic as well as extrinsic rewards, and incentives like prizes, rewards, money and praise can serve as good motivators for millennials. Encouraging employees to share their results on a social networking platform will help quell the need to constantly give physical rewards. Such gamification of learning generates employee interest and encourages more collaboration, which leads to number three …
3. Encourage Collaboration
Collaboration in the form of communities and on-the-job interactions with managers, teammates and subject matter experts leads to the creation of a learning environment. Developing training programs that promote sharing and interaction among peers and help diminish silos is a great way to include millennials in the corporate culture.
4. “Brevity Is the Essence of Wisdom”
Bite-sized learning, or microlearning, has become a popular term in the corporate training and e-learning business, and for good reason. Millennials have learned to consume more information in a shorter duration of time, and our training programs should adapt to this reality. Presenting information in long paragraphs to a generation accustomed to a 140-character format is a mistake.
Design your training materials in the form of small, highly specific bursts that learners can take in quickly between meetings or during lunch. Brevity allows millennials to achieve small goals and milestones quickly and move on to the next module to maintain continuity. It also allows them to retain more information.
5. Be Agile and Flexible
While critics call it laziness or a lackadaisical attitude, the truth remains that millennials value flexibility. They want to be able to choose the specifics of their work. Due to their continuous exposure to technology, they are aware of the ways it can help them accomplish an objective easily without the kind of efforts that other generations must make. Untethered, they don’t see the need to be physically present in order to learn something, and they find their own ways to work and structure their day.
Training must be agile and flexible to fit into the active lifestyle of millennial professionals. Moreover, even the older generations can benefit from this flexibility and learn to adapt to it. It will only help them become more eligible for jobs of the future when they seek new avenues of employment.
A lot has been said about millennials, from being lazy to being delusional. But the realty remains that they will be the biggest drivers of future growth. They see the world differently and believe in doing more with less. It’s only when we believe in their vision and ideas that we can realize their full potential in creating a more powerful workforce. Addressing their needs in corporate training is the first step.
Saurabh Tyagi is a writer, social media enthusiast and keen observer of the latest job trends currently associated with Naukri.com, a leading online recruitment company in India. You can follow him on LinkedIn or Twitter.