Millennials. Most people will have have heard this buzzword used in corporate training, but for those who haven’t, Millennials are:
The generation of people born between 1981 and 1999. They are the largest, most educated and most diverse generation since the Baby Boomers.
According to PwC, by 2016, 80 percent of the workforce will be made up of Millennials, so organisations need to evaluate how they are going to motivate, engage and inspire these learners.
As many businesses aren’t too sure what to make of the ‘Millennials’ talk, they sometimes oversimplify and underestimate them. They assume that this group of people as a whole have a short attention span, spend all day on social media, or respond poorly to previously successful training strategies. Though Millennials may have unique training preferences, they still have similar core values and are committed to business goals.
What strategies and activities can you use in training to engage Millennials?
Millennials can be reached on desktops and laptops, but as they are much more comfortable with mobiles than previous generations, using this type of device adds a layer that is faster and sometimes more effective.
When considering mobile training, take into account the way that people use mobiles; don’t ask them to change their habits just for the training. Build off their current habits to maximise the efficiency of mobile training – people use their mobile devices for quick information, simple interaction and one click answers to their problems. Mobile learning should reflect this.
Using games to learn can be seen as an easy way to get get people to complete their training. This may be correct, but just like other training strategies, gamification that is used for training must directly align with business goals in order to be a valuable investment.
It may be ideal to add gamification features to training. These could include such things as scoring and badges system can enhance competition and builds an element of motivation.
Millennials can be more visual than the older learner as they have grown up in a viral, social, video culture in which media is two directional. This means that they often create content as much as they consume it.
One great way to utilise this is through video-based learning, such as the Social Learning Platform. This allows users to create learning content and share it, in a Youtube style, so that people can comment, rate and like a video. The best, most useful video content will then naturally rise to the top of the video library, just as it does on common social media sites.
When developing training for Millennials, don’t get carried away with gimmicks – try not to lose sight of the basics. Establish your business goal and work backwards to achieve them. Consider mobile learning, gamification and video-based learning as methods of training for Millennials.