What should employers know about leadership training for Millennials?
Are you ready to skyrocket your organization’s leadership to its optimum level? Look no further than the millennials in your workforce. With this young generation’s innovative ideas and diverse skill sets, they are the ideal potential to drive your company to the height you’ve envisioned. However, to genuinely unlock the millennials’ potential, it is expedient that you come to terms with their eminent approach to leadership and work, including their preferences and needs. This is because the traditional system would likely not resonate with this cohort.
In this explorative blog, we’ll reveal the latest insights and research on what employers and managers must know before conducting leadership training for millennials. Get set to revolutionize your organization’s leadership training to unlock the full potential of these young employees and discover the treasures in them!
Millennials desire flexibility in the workplace and their leadership training programs. One-size-fits-all programs may not resonate with them, as they may have different learning styles and preferences. To involve millennials in leadership training, employers should offer flexible training options, such as online courses or self-paced modules. In addition, employers should engage millennials in designing their training programs. By providing opportunities for training topics, delivery methods, and timelines, millennials will be more invested in their development and engaged in the process.
Prioritize Soft Skills
Young people value soft skills such as communication, collaboration, and emotional intelligence. Employers should prioritize soft skill development in their leadership training programs. Providing opportunities for millennials to practice and refine these skills will benefit not only their leadership abilities but also their overall professional development. Your organization’s leadership training programs should include role-playing exercises, public-speaking workshops, and team-building activities. These activities can help millennials develop soft skills, such as active listening, conflict resolution, and empathy.
Provide Mentorship Opportunities
Millennials crave feedback and guidance from their superiors. Offering mentorship
opportunities can help to satisfy this need while also providing valuable leadership training. Mentorship programs can be formal or informal and can involve mentors from within or outside of the company. Regardless of the structure, mentoring allows millennials to learn from experienced leaders and gain insights into the industry and organization.
For example, mentorship programs can include regular one-on-one meetings between the mentor and mentee and shadowing opportunities. By receiving guidance and feedback from a mentor, millennials can develop their leadership abilities and build strong professional relationships.
Use Technology To Enhance Training
Young employees are comfortable with technology and expect it to be integrated into their professional lives. Employers can leverage this expectation by incorporating technology into leadership training programs. You can use virtual reality to simulate challenging leadership scenarios, allowing millennials to practice decision-making in a safe environment. It would be best to consider using mobile apps to deliver training content and assessments, making it easily accessible and digestible for millennials on the go. In addition, you can use gamification to increase engagement and motivation in leadership training. For instance, leadership training programs can include quizzes, games, tests, and challenges that allow millennials to earn points, badges, or rewards.
Leadership training programs emphasizing collaboration can help millennials develop the skills necessary to lead and work effectively in a team environment. Organize group projects and exercises to encourage collaboration and build relationships between trainees. In addition, involving other employees in training, such as senior leaders or subject matter experts, can provide opportunities for cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing.
Focus On Purpose And Impact
Millennials value purpose and making a positive impact in the world. Leadership training programs that align with the company’s values and mission can help to engage and motivate millennials. The leadership training programs should include sessions on corporate social responsibility and sustainability. By highlighting leaders’ impact on the organization and society, millennials will be more invested in their leadership development.
Provide Opportunities For Self-Reflection
Leadership training programs that provide opportunities for self-reflection can help millennials to identify their strengths and areas for improvement and develop a greater sense of self-awareness. Such programs can include personality assessments, leadership style assessments, and reflection exercises. By providing opportunities for self-reflection, employers can help millennials to become more effective leaders and better understand themselves and their leadership abilities.
This is an essential factor for leadership training for your young employees. The millennial generation is known for their desire to be creative. You should, however, know that innovation can be challenging, especially in a traditional organizational structure. This is because the conventional system encourages predictability and stability, which stifles innovation. Innovation thrives more in an environment that promotes spontaneity.
It’s your duty as an employer or manager to provide this supportive environment. In addition, it’s best to cultivate an environment that fosters experimentation; you should also provide funding, encourage them to think outside the box and challenge the status quo. It’s necessary to note that even if their innovations don’t produce the glorifying results you envisaged, you shouldn’t condemn their efforts; instead, you should push them to improve.
Provide Networking Opportunities
If you want to engage your millennials in leadership training, you must provide networking opportunities to them. Aid them with building and maintaining solid relationships with professionals in their field. Networking is vital for everyone who prioritizes connection and social capital in their career development. Without a doubt, we can agree that this almost tops the list for every young employee. Thus, you can enable them by hosting networking events as part of your leadership training program and granting them access. Networking is a valuable addition to any leadership training program as it helps your millennials to expand their professional network.
The Millennial is one of the most elusive and misunderstood generations in the workforce right now, yet they are also one of the most important. These young people grew up in a different world than anyone before them, particularly as it pertains to the reliance on technology.
All of the differences that make this generation unique are important to understanding how to implement effective learning and development training.
The old methods simply do not work, and that leaves some employers scrambling for answers.
The Need for Specialized Training
If there is one thing a majority of organizations agree on, it is the fact Millennials require specialized training, particularly as it pertains to leadership and development.
ASTD created a white paper on the subject of Millennial leadership development, and found in their research that 60 percent of survey respondents felt Millennials require specialized training in the workplace. Yet there was a disconnect between what respondents felt was necessary, and what they were actually implementing. Only 15 percent of responding companies said they were incorporating this type of specialized Millennial training, and 25 percent said they were considering doing so.
Where to Focus eLearning Efforts
It is, basically, universally agreed that eLearning is the best way to train Millennials in your organization, whether it is basic regulatory training, or leadership training. The reason is because of how comfortable Millennials feel with technology—they respond well to any form of technology and feel completely at ease and empowered with this type of learning.
With that being said, where should your Millennial L&D eLearning efforts be focused?
The number one thing you should focus on is communication skills and style.
Despite the fact Millennials are constantly communicating and never out of touch with friends or family members, they may not be doing so in the traditional way which is most conducive to the corporate environment.
Some Millennials may lack face-to-face communication skills that allow them to become leaders in the workplace, and they may also lack the knowledge and know-how of professional communication. This is primarily because of their reliance on technology—they rarely communicate in-person and, when they do, the casual texting and email-based language tends to dominate.
Employers can utilize eLearning to train Millennials on proper corporate communication skills through scenario-based learning, which is something this generation is particularly receptive to. Additionally, it is important to train Millennials on other soft skills they may be lacking in, such as building personal connections, which is pivotal to leadership.
Other Things to Consider with Millennial Leadership Training
As well as a primary focus on soft skills, Millennial L&D training is most effective when it incorporates some of the following components:
- Socialization: Millennials are a generation which is very much focused on a sense of the collective “we” along with dependence on collaboration and teamwork. Building social aspects into Millennial leadership eLearning satisfies this need to work together, and makes material more salient. Socialization can appear in the form of interactive discussions and the ability to share content.
- Gamification is one of the best ways to educate Millennials on leadership in the workforce. They are already so accustomed and acclimated to gameplay that this is a method which completely appeals to their sensibilities. Millennials tend to be especially receptive to leadership training gamification when the focus is on competition, as opposed to assessment.
- Empower Millennials to make their own decisions within eLearning, which are then more likely to translate to the real world. Millennials are more motivated to learn when they feel like they are in control of the situation, and they are happier when they have the opportunity to take a risk and choose or develop the solution they think is best in a particular situation.
Many corporations are stuck on the idea Millennials cannot be trained to make effective leaders, but it is becoming increasingly more common to understand that Millennials do have untapped leadership potential—they just require a different approach when it comes to learning and development. As employers continue to see the benefits of training Millennials through eLearning, the opportunities will also continue to grow for both employers and their Millennial employees.
If you desire to win at leadership training with the millennials in your workforce, you should consider adopting and incorporating the above tips. You should take the unique values and characteristics of millennials into account to engage them in leadership development and enable them to become influential leaders. Investing in the leadership development of the millennials in your workforce is an investment with long-term benefits. You are sowing the seed to set up your organization for success and preparing for the future of your workforce.