Millennials may be considered young today, but they are poised to comprise about 75 percent of the workforce by 2025, and – increasingly – they’re knocking on doors looking for careers to help pay for the latest gadgets, their homes, and their livelihoods.
To help this generation move out of the food service and retail jobs that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing them in, they need opportunities to hone skills that translate into fields that will sustain them throughout their lives.
Offering millennials training that they can do at the office is not only a way to help them develop their knowledge and skills, but also can keep them in your organization longer.
However, just throwing training at employees isn’t going to engage a generation that is accustomed to the fast-paced nature of the internet, social media, and smartphones. As an employer, you need to get your millennials hyped to train and motivated to take advantage of the tech that is going to shape their future and benefit your business. Here are the ways that you can get millennials excited about IT training and cultivate long-term employees out of the effort.
Build Out Manageable Training Plans
Having grown up with instantaneous access to the internet, the minds of millennials move from one topic to another seamlessly. When helping your millennial employees plan out their training, break it into bits that are easier to comprehend. Then they will be that much more willing to take on the challenge and achieve the goals that you have set together.
Mapping out and implementing training plans with your employees will give you the basis to hold your team accountable, help you understand exactly how your team trains, and give you the knowledge to evaluate your team’s training progress more effectively and efficiently.
With some training programs, you get immediate access to reports that you can use to monitor your employee training. With these reports in hand, you can help your team stay on track by providing members with personalized feedback that will help them succeed within your organization.
Breaking down the seemingly giant task of training into smaller portions will allow team members to easily make time in their day for it. If members of your team members are still having trouble training on a consistent basis, offer to help organize their time or provide more structured training guidelines.
Enable Millennials to Train on the Go
Millennials are more likely to bring their own devices to the office, work on their own time, and work remote compared to previous generations.
Millennials take their work wherever they go, whether it’s working from home, a coffee shop, or during a morning commute. Because of this, training should be accessible in whichever environment they work. With all of the mobile technology this generation has at its fingertips, including laptops and smartphones, millennials should have easy, mobile access to their training.
Media trends today lean toward short bursts of content, such as 10-second Snapchat videos, 140-character tweets on Twitter (News - Alert), and short-form text messages. So it makes sense that millennials prefer to consume their training in short bursts as well. Mobile training gives learners the option to do just this, as opposed to sitting through a lecture or sifting through a dense study guide.
Breaking training down into smaller bits allows learners to process information more effectively and immediately recall it, a strategy that has been proven to improve the process of learning. Visuals such as graphics and videos can make training content a lot more engaging, helping to instill training topics in the minds of learners.
Giving your millennial employees access to training in smaller chunks of information, along with the freedom to train at their own pace, they will feel more confident in their ability to train, which can lead them to respecting and trusting you as their employer.
Use Technology to Train
In part, millennials are defined by their native usage of the internet, mobile technologies, and social media. One in four millennials believes that their relationship to technology is what makes their generation unique. As technology evolves, the way that millennials use tech changes right alongside it.
Because technology is constantly evolving, new training options arise. IT training is shifting from lengthy seminars and boot camps to short, mobile tutorials that learners can access 24/7 anywhere. Training content on the internet can be easily updated to keep in tune with the latest technologies, as well as to meet developing business needs.
Not only can people train using newer technologies, but more than ever, comprehension of technologies can be measured using engagement tools such as quizzes, exams, and virtual labs. Using technology can help learners experience real-world situations, allowing them to apply the concepts that they’re learning – thus giving them an even deeper understanding.
Reward IT Training
Gamification is emerging as a powerful motivator in the workplace, especially among millennials. In fact, 91 percent of employees claim that gamification increases productivity in the workplace. Rewarding your employees for their training helps to engage them, perhaps even to the point that they get excited to learn.
Gamification can foster healthy competition among employees, giving them all more reason to achieve IT training success. It also helps your team more meaningfully engage with the training content, which in turn positively influences workplace productivity.
Rewarding your millennial employees’ training validates the learning experience for all and makes it worthwhile for the organization. Incorporating training rewards such as positive feedback, badges, and other outward recognition, such as a leaderboard to showcase training efforts, can get your millennial employees excited about learning.
The Impact of Millennials
Millennials are constantly bringing new ideas to the table. When it comes to engaging with new concepts, their priorities are influenced by their attraction to the latest technologies, willingness to be connected, and eagerness to try new things.
IT organizations must adapt to appeal to millennials or risk losing the minds, skills, and talent of this influential generation. Organizations need to be aware of, and address, generational differences and reevaluate how they approach training in regard to millennial learners.
The world of IT has evolved drastically in the past few decades. But millennials are changing the face of this industry more than ever before. Managers need to embrace the new normal for IT training to get this younger generation excited to learn.Ben Finkel has worked in software development for nearly two decades, within a variety of industries including banking/finance, insurance, and healthcare. He is also a Google (News - Alert) Certified Trainer and an instructor for CBT Nuggets, where he helps corporate teams and individual learners establish clearly-defined training goals.
Edited by Erik Linask