Years ago, “Millennial” seemed like a dirty word. As they began infiltrating our workforce, generations above them judged harshly, finding them entitled and lacking a work ethic. Now that they are fully immersed in our working culture, we have found that they bring opportunities for growth and evolution. However, the youngest of this generation are getting their first jobs out of college, and their worlds are very different from those of us who have been working for fifteen years or more. The question is how do we train these young people?
It’s important to recognize that Millennials do have different needs when it comes to learning a job. Their reality has always included advanced technology. They have access to an infinite amount of information. They learn and process information differently than generations before, so if you current training strategy has been the same for a decade, you do need to make changes to help this group to succeed.
Here is what your training should include:
- Use technology. Incorporate the platforms they prefer to use, like mobile devices.
- Create modules and lessons that are short, digestible chunks of information. Give them relevant pieces that they can absorb quickly. They are used to a fast pace and will get distracted if they feel they don’t need what you’re telling them.
- Deliver key concepts using videos and other animated images. These often get information across in a more effective way than text or speech.
- Ask for their feedback before and during training. Millennials want to participate in shaping the company and their own jobs. Ask them for ideas and suggestions about how they will get the most value out of their training and how they best understand information.
- Include your company values. These employees want to work for a business whose company values match their own. They want to believe in the company leaders, and they want to feel good working for the company.
You don’t need to completely overhaul your current training strategy. You are the expert. Use what is successful, but deliver it in a way that will align with the needs of the Millennials.
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