First, the Baby Boomers dominated the corporate world; then Generation X; and now: the Millennials. This is the generation that was born between 1980 and 2000. The Baby Boomers are retiring and the Millennials are taking their place. By 2025 the Millennials will be the dominant generation, making up 75% of the workforce!
As generations change, the nature and character of employees change. This means that training also needs to change. Millennials see the world in a completely different way compared to previous generations. They grew up with unprecedented mobile technology and connectivity. Therefore, it is quite important that training and development are in line with their technological experiences.
Workplace Attitudes of Millennials
Millennials think and act remarkably differently, because their upbringing was marked by an immense increase in technological advances. Millennials have great familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies – all of which have a direct influence on their attitudes regarding:
– expecting on-demand style information
– finding creative outlets
– desiring immediate feedback
– embracing collaborative skills and team work
– seeking continuous improvement and development
– preferring schedule flexibility
– placing emphasis on producing meaningful work
Training Millennials Using Technology
Technology is key to developing a training program suited to the needs and expectations of a Millennial workforce. They are entirely at their ease with computers, the Internet, and gadgets. They are constantly using the latest technology – their training needs to also incorporate the latest technology.
Video provides the type of innovative tech learning that Millennials will respond well to. They grew up with the Internet, YouTube and social media – all of these embrace online video. Video tops the list when it comes to a breakdown of which formats of information Millennials pay the most attention to. This is closely followed by social media posts.
Improving Millennial Training and Development Using Video
Millennials are familiar with technology that provides immediate media content in concise chunks. They want to learn quickly – content needs to be conveyed as snackable content, around 2-15 minutes in length. A virtual classroom of video materials make it possible for training to be provided in small learning units, delivered in a convenient and accessible manner.
Millennials need training programs designed for online access. They want to access their training material on the go, using laptops, tablets and other mobiles devices, especially if they are remote workers in a distributed workforce. The use of video material makes training agile and accessible – it suits the active lives of Millennials.
Social media forms part of Millennials’ daily lives. It can be used as a vehicle of support, where managers and colleagues give feedback and advice. It can also be used to make engaging video material available – Millennials expect a free flow of information.
Millennials are great ambassadors for innovative ways of training and are excellent in communicating what they have learned to fellow employees. They effectively make use of technology to do so. This skill can be utilized when creating materials for training. For example, Millennials can make short explainer videos online and then pass them on, plus share the learning objectives, via social media!
Collaborative Video creation projects provide a platform where Millennials can learn from fellow employees and also contribute their own experience or expertise. Tell Millennials what’s expected of them, share goals with them, and then let them discover and develop training materials that can be used and shared by other employees too.
Millennials desire continuous improvement and expect their employers to provide them with training opportunities. Video resource libraries are a cost effective way to engage Millennials and will ensure ongoing online training. Assemble training material that is hyper-relevant in a series of short videos (five minutes or less). This will give employees instant access to useful information.
Millennials value a flexible schedule. They want to choose when, where and how they learn. Technology makes it possible to access training videos on multiple devices. This enables Millennials to learn at their own pace and convenience.
A useful and effective technique for training Millennials is to give them responsibility for their own learning. Provide them with single learning objectives and then give them the freedom to explore videos on topics that concern them. Alternatively they may be asked to find additional information (by means of online research) and then to share these on social media.
Millennials make up much of the current and near-future workforce. They are the digital generation and expect a different format of training. To optimally benefit your company, devise new innovative training methods and techniques that embrace the way Millennials make use of technology!