How Millennials Want to be Trained

By: Mike James

Things have been difficult for millennials in the workplace. Starting their careers just around the same time as the global financial crisis hit the economy, they have found fewer opportunities than the generations that preceded them. But this has created a situation in which millennials are more likely to desire and value staff training which can make them fantastic for long-term development. Here’s are some of the important ways to train millennials, provided by M. James as part of an office behaviour project using staff management specialist Planday as a case study.

Provide regular feedback

Millennials like to know exactly what is expected of them and how well they are doing. They were the first generation to grow up with social media and the possibility for instantaneous feedback on everything that they say and do. This affects them in the workplace and it makes them crave feedback on their performance more than workers of other generations. If they can’t get the feedback they are more likely to switch off from the training.

Advance individual skills

It’s unfortunately true that millennials have faced entering the workplace at a tumultuous time. As a result there may be fewer opportunities available to them and many have found it a struggle to get ahead. As such, millennials see the benefit of acquiring specific individual skills as they believe it can help them to advance their careers. Therefore while workers from other generations might see training as a waste of time, millennials love the opportunity to enhance their employability.

Offer lots of it

As mentioned above, millennials employees see the benefit of training perhaps more than other generations, so it makes sense that they value regular training and like to get as much from coaching and workshops as they can. Don’t just provide training what is needed – provide training that encourages learning and progression. And this isn’t just about doing something that will make your staff happier – remember that equipping your workers with more skills can only be a good thing for your business.

Flexible learning

Just as millennials are more likely to desire and appreciate the opportunity for flexible working and hours, they also want to be able to learn flexibly as well. Many millennials have different learning styles so while some may prefer to go away and read the materials, others will benefit from videos or even on-demand learning on their smartphone or other device. Give your staff more opportunity to succeed and take on board the training that is presented to them – providing it in a highly structured and rigid way can actually be a negative.

Short but sweet

There is an idea about workplace training that suggests it needs to take a significant amount of time. Some business organise day-long training sessions or even workshops that take place over a number of days. This isn’t necessarily very beneficial to millennials, who usually prefer to work in shorter bursts. Look at the way that content is consumed online by younger people – there is an undeniable trend towards the short-form. This can be harnessed for training purposes with shorter sessions that actually help workers take on more knowledge and understand better ways to apply it.

Use eLearning

This is a generation that is comfortable with technology, so you can add digital or computer-based elements to the training without any fear. In fact it can be a great idea to integrate eLearning into any of your training sessions. Millennials generally believe that there is no need for training to take place within a classroom, so it can be smart to allow them to work at their own pace on their own devices. This is another way that allows them to take in information in the same way that they do on a day-to-day basis.

Gamify the training

Gaming is a big part of the lives of many millennials. It’s a good idea to incorporate the techniques that games use in order to make training more effective. Use grades, praise, prizes and even badges to show achievement in the same way that a computer game does.

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