Millennials – individuals born between 1981-1996 – are increasingly holding more professional positions and dominating the labor force. In fact, according to TruPath, millennials are projected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. While we don’t want to typecast or stereotype millennial employees (or any employees, for that matter), it’s important to note that training millennials in particular poses unique challenges. In order to deliver the most effective methods and practices for workplace learning and career development for millennials, trainers must acknowledge the learning preferences of this subset of learners and pay close attention to what types of training prove the most fruitful.
To effectively train and retain this growing group of talent, HR professionals and L&D managers need to provide flexible and collaborative digital learning programs for millennials in the workplace. With dynamic, streamlined, and continuous professional education within your organization, millennials stay engaged and encouraged to reach performance goals that support your business.
Why is it Important to Invest in Your Millennial Workforce?
Millennials are highly motivated to take on leadership roles as quickly as they can, with 69% of them aspiring to achieve this goal within the next five years. Millennials seek jobs that provide mentorship, collaboration, an opportunity for career growth, and value things such as a healthy work-life balance and a sense of purpose in their career.
This thirst for upward mobility is a good thing for employers because, as mentioned, millennials are projected to make up the majority of the workforce within the coming years. However, this poses a challenge for employers in competitive industries who need to retain young talent. In today’s business world, millennials have enough employment choices that if they are not satisfied with their current situation, they will seek out a new one rather than stick around. Once you lose an employee, it can cost you an average of 6-9 month salary in hiring expenses to find and hire a replacement. For an employee that makes $60,000 per year, that cost comes out to $30,000-$45,000!
Millennial Training & Leadership Development
One area millennials tend to express dissatisfaction is in training and leadership development. At many companies, the system of workforce training is outdated by many standards. Because of the technological advances that occurred as they were coming of age, millennials have learned to think in ways that are different from generations that have come before. Dissatisfaction with training and leadership development is the driving force of millennials who leave an organization within two years.
Clearly, it is in your interest to incorporate new training and development methods to meet the needs of millennial employees. A learning management system (LMS), like Moodle or Totara Learn, is a useful eLearning tool that makes workplace learning more streamlined, engaging, and accessible, but you need to know how to use one effectively to design your content and implement your program. To that end, you need to understand what millennials want and need from workplace training.
No one likes to feel that they are wasting their time, and employees can get very frustrated when they feel the content they are learning does not directly relate to their work. It is important to demonstrate the practical applications of the information you are conveying. If millennials can see how the content is useful to them, they will be more likely to engage and internalize what they learn from it.
Many millennials already know where their strengths are and where they need improvement. They appreciate the opportunity to seek out the specific training they need without having to waste their time reviewing what they already know.
Millennials value individuality; they do not like being treated like a cog in a giant machine, no different than the hundreds of other moving parts around them. Therefore, a standardized, one-size-fits-all approach to training and development is unlikely to be effective. The right eLearning solutions can offer individualized learning paths for a best-of-breed training experience.
Additionally, millennials appreciate having a say in what types of learning they’re able to add to their learning plans. Providing the opportunity for your employees to opt into training courses related to their respective positions within the company and areas of interest makes them more eager to complete that training and continue to hone their skills.
Because millennials came of age with the dawn of the internet, they are used to the information they need being available to them with a few strokes of their fingers. Therefore, they are likely to appreciate the user-friendliness of having an LMS serve as your organization’s online learning hub, containing all the information and resources your employees need in one place.
Additionally, an LMS that includes a mobile application provides even more usability for learners to access courses and resources virtually anywhere, including on the job.
Work-life balance is very important to millennials, and so they appreciate being able to work on their own time and make their own schedules. The same holds true for training and development. They don’t want to have to sit in a classroom for hours on end. They want to access the content on multiple devices during times that are convenient for them, e.g., during lunch hours and subway commutes.
A well-designed workplace training program incorporates different techniques for conveying information to accommodate the different learning styles of employees of all ages. In particular, however, millennials grew up obtaining information from online videos and other forms of multimedia. Therefore, a training program that makes good use of technology with a blended learning approach is likely to engage them better.
Millennials generally appreciate and benefit from content that is organized into brief, digestible modules, which form the foundational basis of an open-source eLearning system. Modular solutions allow you to “plug-and-play” with various tools and content designed to educate and engage your industry’s learners and provide more dynamic learning and training experiences.
Additionally, another learning strategy that is popular among younger learners is the use of microlearning, which – similar to the concept of modules – presents information in “bite-sized” chunks, making it easier to digest topics one at a time and often at the time they’re needed.
Millennials tend to place more value on experiences rather than material purchases. In other words, they receive more satisfaction from doing than from having. A successful training program should be designed with this fact in mind: Millennials tend to be more interested in the journey than the destination. Your employees may feel rewarded by receiving feedback on the work they’ve done. One great way to do this is by offering online badges when they complete a training or new skill. By providing learners with proof and acknowledgement of their learning experiences, they feel that their effort is recognized and can be confident in applying what they’ve learned in their everyday tasks.
Interested in Learning More?
eLearning is a great tool to train new and existing employees in hard-to-hire positions, as well as encourage millennials to develop their skill sets and advance their career while at the same organization. eLearning is an overall effective way of adapting to the new age workforce and ensuring a flexible, dynamic solution for training millennials in the workplace.
If you want to deliver Learning & Development programs designed to meet the needs of today’s top talent, get started today by contacting eThink. Or request an individualized demonstration below.