Workplace training

10 minute read

7 Best Strategies to Train Millennials at Work

Erika Rykun

Erika Rykun

There is a lot of talk about millennials nowadays.

You may be familiar with some of the negative stereotypes about working with millennials - namely that employers find them difficult to retain and impress.

So, are any of these stereotypes true? And what does it mean for the future of the modern workforce?

We had a deeper look into this problem, talked with a few CEOs, and learned the secret to training millennials in the workplace. Contrary to popular belief, they are eager to learn - we just have to do it using the tools and methods they understand and are excited by.

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Millennials training and development - is it necessary?

Every hiring manager knows that the process of finding, attracting, and retaining talent is complex and lengthy. They also know that many things could go wrong between reading a cover letter they like and actually discussing the details of an employment contract.

However, the company’s investment in the employee doesn’t stop with hiring. The new hire must go through onboarding and training, they need to learn the corporate culture, and get acquainted with the team.

After all of this effort, it’s easy to understand why so many employers don’t like the idea of tapping into a pool of job-hoppers.

According to a recent Gallup report on millennials, 60% of millennials say they are open to a different job opportunity, and 50% of them plan on becoming entrepreneurs within a year from being hired. Given these numbers, companies may feel it’s not worth investing more in millennial hires, but the reality is that millennials make up the largest generation in the US workforce.

Recruiters are always looking for the best and youngest talent, so young people in the workforce have more opportunities than older generations. They are also more tech-savvy and adapt to change faster, which are valuable traits.

The new generation of young adults is not solely motivated by climbing the corporate ladder. Sure, they are tempted by a better-paid position, but they are also looking to have autonomy over their work and creative freedom.

As such, if you want to make sure that millennials will stay with your company, it’s time to change your training approach.

Strategies to try while training millennials

One factor that motivates young adults to become entrepreneurs is workplace rigidity.  In fact, the fear of being a cog in someone else’s dream machine is a powerful trait of this generation.

However, not all young adults dream of having their own business. This means that, with the right training strategies, companies have a great chance of retaining their talent and cultivating their loyalty.

To learn how to lead millennials in the workplace, it is important to understand that they need to feel that their role is important not just to your organization, but also for their own personal fulfillment and satisfaction.

So, when you deliver corporate training for millennials in the workplace, make sure to include some of the following strategies:

Bite-sized content

This recommendation has been provided by Sam Johns, HR Specialist & Hiring Manager at ResumeGenius, one of the biggest resume building platforms. According to Sam, “Since millennials have grown up surrounded by distractions, they’re most productive working in short bursts — switching from one task to another as their attention shifts”.

Millennials are keen to learn new things and develop new and improved skills. However, since they were exposed to technology and the Internet since early childhood, their attention span is quite short (around 90 seconds).

As such, an effective training method is to offer content (like online skills courses) in bite-sized units. This technique is called microlearning and has a wide range of benefits such as increased motivation, better focus on the goals, and an improved understanding of the topic.

A great tool for microlearning is GoSkills - an online education platform designed to help your team learn anywhere and at any time. GoSkills’ award-winning courses are organized in bite-sized lessons, from a wide range of business-related niches. Moreover, the resources can be accessed using any type of compatible mobile device, which makes training your team even easier.

Coaching & mentorship

Millennials take pride in their work and like to improve in order to feel meaningful. They understand failure, but only as a means of getting better and learning from one’s mistakes. Moreover, they lack the patience that’s characteristic to older generations, which is why they need coaching and mentorship.

Such a program will give them a specific set of goals to work towards and will fulfill their need for connection. Coaching will keep them motivated and will show that their work is important for the company.

In addition, a coaching and mentorship program is beneficial for the company as well, as it will teach managers and other employees about the power of open communication. Also, this process creates a more productive and engaged workforce, which is highly beneficial for the company.

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Video content

Did you know that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or other written sources? Still, even with this staggering amount of evidence in favor of video content, there are many companies that would rather pay for the classic learning approach.

But the classic approach typically doesn’t work for Millennials. After all, these are the people who would rather look up a how-to tutorial on YouTube than read a 500-word article!

So, in your effort to change the methods of training Millennials in the workplace, you should advocate for bite-sized video content instead of drier lectures and classes.

Use up-to-date technology

Millennials are up-to-date with the latest technological trends and they understand its power. This is one of the traits that make them so valuable for modern companies.

But it’s not just about offering them a fast laptop or the latest tablet/smartphone. It’s also about the interface and tools used by the company on a daily basis. If in today’s day and age, your company website is not responsive or your Intranet platform looks like it’s from the Windows 98 period, you are long due for an update.

Offer accessible tools

Right now, the workplace is going through a major transformation. With so many platforms that support working from a remote location, more and more people want to embrace the freedom of a flexible program.

Of course, Millennials already expect this from their employers. In fact, studies show that 73% of Millennials identify email as their preferred means of business communication. This way, managers can communicate tasks, deadlines, meetings, and more to their employees without having to meet face-to-face.

Also, most young adults are goal-oriented and don’t like wasting their time in an office. As long as they get the job done in the agreed time-frame, they want to be free to use their time as they please.

This approach can be scary for an employer who doesn’t understand the benefits behind remote work. Moreover, older generations may consider this a lazy and selfish approach, which can lead to friction between employees.

As such, we consider that training should be designed for everyone in the company, not just Millennials. This way, everyone can get to see and understand the other’s point of view.

Gamification

This method has been successfully used in both schools and companies, and its popularity is continuing to grow. The idea is to transform what could be a boring experience (like learning a bunch of facts) into a game with rewards, badges, and levels of difficulty.

Gamification turns routine real-life activities into cool challenges and manages to keep people motivated and focused. This happens because it uses the same process video games use to get players hooked on trying another level once the current one is complete.

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Implement a continuous learning culture

According to the Deloitte 2016 Millennial Survey, 60% of Millennials are interested in training opportunities regarding their leadership skills. While we can’t all be leaders, companies can use a platform like the GoSkills LMS to offer continuous access to learning.

This way, you show current and future employees you care about their position in the company and invite them to improve in order to be better at making decisions in their department. By investing in continuous learning, you also invest in having more productive and happier people in the company.

Moreover, such a platform allows you to provide feedback and encouragement, which is a big part of the coaching and mentorship program we discussed above.

Wrap up

We started this article talking about the stereotypes that surround this generation. But, after learning about Millennials’ characteristics in the workplace, a whole different picture starts to emerge.

These young adults are motivated, free-thinkers, who want creative independence and are passionate about their work. Their main goal is to offer training that makes them feel engaged and allows them to live a meaningful life.

Once companies and their CEOs start to understand this, everything will come into place.

Try the GoSkills LMS for free today and help your team stay motivated and engaged.

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Erika Rykun

Erika Rykun

Erika is an independent copywriter and content creator with a passion for running and reading.

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