Question: What do all companies have in common, no matter their size, industry or field of activity?
Answer: They all hire millennials.
This new generation of employees are bright, tech-savvy and social. They are eager to work, but they want to do it on their own terms. And one of these terms is to be able to develop their professional skills. In other words, millennials demand continuous learning and development programs.
Talent management gets more and more attention, as companies realize they must create the skills they need, not just look for these skills in the marketplace. Therefore, they must rethink their training programs and take advantage of new technologies. This will transform the workplace and improve millennial employee retention.
In a post from last month I presented five simple solutions for training millennials and I also promised we’ll explore another five in a future post. Well, this is the future post. Let’s dive in!
Simple solutions for training millennials
Foster collaboration. This generation has been working in groups and collaborating with each other since elementary school. Learning from others at work is one of the most efficient ways of getting better at one's job anyway. Social-media-like internal platforms increase engagement rates through easy online collaboration. Another advantage is that this encourages the finding of new solutions for old problems.
Offer instant feedback and mentoring. People usually work harder when they know where their work is going and millennials make no exception. Including immediate feedback in the learning experience increases engagement and knowledge retention. Having a mentor who they can turn to when they need guidance is a prerequisite of millennials' style of constant learning and development.
Keep your training short. Micro-learning, or bite-sized e-learning content is way better than long talks or presentations. With so many distractions bombarding our brains at any given moment, it's no surprise millennials can't focus on a task as much as their parents used to. Academic researchers have determined that short attention spans are due to an actual rewiring of the brain. So it's not just a preference; millennials need to be given shorter chunks of information in order to properly absorb it.
Add visuals. Using visuals effectively is important in all training. Most millennials appreciate visual-based lessons and absorb information more easily through images, infographics, presentations and videos rather than hundreds of pages of text. This comes as a natural expectation, with all the attention-grabbing advertising surrounding our lives. Don't rely only on visuals, however, as more in-depth information is sometimes necessary.
Let them be the teachers. This may seem a bit of a nonsense, since millennials generally don't have a lot of working experience and sometimes need constant supervision to perform their tasks. But think of it this way: they may not know all the things their colleagues know, but they do know some things that seniors just don't. Millennials are great at networking, social collaboration, multi tasking and adapting to new technologies and they can actually teach their older peers a thing or two.
Promise status: kept ✓
What would you add to this almighty list of ten simple solutions for training millennials? The comments section is all yours.