Each generation of workers has its own characteristics. For those workers that fall in the millennial generation, the characteristic that seems to set them apart is that they live and work in a faster-paced world than the generations that came before them. This directly translates to how this generation needs to train, learn and develop as well.
Trainers have to be aware that millennials require a training environment that is as fast-paced as they are in order to retain their attention and teach them what they need to know.
Employees of the millennial generation are also used to structure. Many of these employees attended pre-school before attending school. They engaged in structured activities during their pre-school and school years, so this is how they are used to learning.
Trainers and employers can take this into consideration when creating and implementing training programs for this generation. Providing a structured learning environment helps to foster learning for these individuals because it is how they are accustomed to learning new information and retaining the information they have learned.
Millennials also tend to be team-oriented and work better in teams than on an individual basis. Again, this applies to training techniques too. It is best to use activities that break those of the millennial generation into small groups. For example, you might have an informational session in the morning, but have breakout sessions in the afternoon, where groups of millennials can apply what they learned during the informational session.
Connect the Dots
Millennial minds tend to absorb information by application. For them, learning is a three-step process. It starts with learning the information itself, such as in a general information session, as discussed above.
Second, they need to apply the information they have learned. Generally, application occurs in a team environment. Finally, millennials then need to have a discussion about what they learned and how the application of what they learned went. Trainers can ask the millennials questions to spur responses, analysis and deductive reasoning. This ties together the learning activity with the objective.
Many refer to the millennial generation as the trophy generation. It’s a competitive generation that strives to be the best so they can earn the trophy or the reward that comes along with excelling. Trainers can use this to their advantage during training and development sessions.
Setting up the training session as a competition between the teams can foster the learning of this generation. Use prizes or rewards of some sort to spur them along and engage them. The rewards do not have to be expensive or big to appeal to their competitive nature. Using a reward system can also be helpful when training individuals of different generations in the same session.
Millenials, also known as the Y Generation, are those employees born between 1980 and the early 2000s. Training these individual employees differs from training some of the generations that came before them. When you embrace these differences, you can create more effective training courses for the new generation of employees.