The Challenge And Opportunities Of Training Millennials

The Challenge And Opportunities Of Training Millennials

It seems that every new generation of workers brings with it a distinct set of needs. Millennials are no different and it can seem difficult trying to wrap one’s head around what drives them (kids these days!). While some of us may have insight by virtue of being closer in age range (I fall within Generation X. That’s all I’ll say), often the case is that end up scratching our head and not know where to start. This is hardly a good beginning point when it comes to delivering online training solutions to a younger workforce.

On Your Doorstep

I came across an interesting collection of research hosted on Docstoc titled “What Motivates the Emerging Millennial Workforce?”. The collection of facts it contained opened my eyes to some of the opportunities and challenges.

For instance, 60% of the American workforce will be millennials by 2014. And by 2025, they are projected to account for 75% of the workforce. This generation of workers is here and can’t be ignored. Training decisions related to performance and skill retention must be made with this group of workers in mind. While the demographics in your organization may not reflect this figure, it will sooner than later. A plan of action that takes into account their training needs should to be on the radar at minimum. But what exactly are their needs?

To quote “What Motivates The Emerging Millennial Workforce?”:

  • 77% expect their personal lives to take precedent over their professional lives.

  • 80% of respondents say their work environment will be more important than the size of their paychecks.

  • 65% say being successful in a high-paying career or profession is “important,”

  • 70% of respondents say the ability to make their own hours is either somewhat or very important to them when choosing a career.

  • 40% of Millennial women say their ideal career would include working from home at some point, while 33% of Millennial men say the same.

  • 66% of Millennials say it’s somewhat or very likely that they will switch careers in their lifetimes.

  • 57% of employed Millennials have no plans of staying at their current job for the rest of their careers.

  • 61% say their current job is a springboard to another.

  • 60% of employed Millennial workers have already switched careers at least once.

The first impression from these fact may be that this workforce is very fickle. The truth is different though. This is a generation that knows what they want and how to get it. Often a career is a means to an end and high turnover rates attributed to this generation of workers proves that organizations are going to have to work harder than ever to retain loyalty.

The Impact On Employee Training Solutions

When it comes to delivering online training millennials there are a few thing to keep in mind:

  1. They Live Online

    Not only do millennials live online, they’re doing so in increasing frequency. According to a study by WSL/Strategic Retail from 2011-2012, the amount of time increase 5 hours, totalling 25 hours on average a week. The popularity and prominence of “always-connected” smartphones has been an important factor in this and go hand in hand with the rise of mobile learning.

  2. Everything should be “On-Demand”

    Between the Internet, Netflix, and YouTube, “On-Demand” entertainment and information is king. In fact, 34% of Millennials watch more online video than TV. From a personal perspective, having cut cable off three years ago and relying solely on online entertainment via an Apple TV, the few occasions where I do have the opportunity to watch cable TV and have to wait for a program to start and sit through commercials is jarring.

    From a training perspective, asynchronous “on-demand” learning falls right in line with this. Training management software has the ability to deliver that employees can start anytime and resume anytime.

  3. Online learning isn’t new to them

    The mixture of technology and instructor-led training through the use of blended learning is not a new concept to this generation of workers. From computers in classrooms to using digital textbooks, technology has always had a place in learning. Not only will they be familiar with it, they will expect it.

Don’t Panic!

The most important first step when it comes to delivering training solutions to this generation of workers is to — quoting The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy — ”Don’t Panic”.

The second step is to perform a training needs assessment in order to get a grasp on the type of training solution that will get the best performance from your workforce. Every organization has a unique workforce —  even if they do fall within a similar demographic. This analysis will help guide the development of custom training solutions.

Your organization may already be delivering training to this younger group of workers. In order to get the best performance, highest knowledge retention, and best completion rates; you need to deliver training that speaks to them. Doing so will instill loyalty and help stem turnover rates because you will be giving them the tools they need to better themselves.

To learn more about how you can deliver amazing online training to this younger generation of employees, download our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based Elearning.

Image Credit: thisisbossi


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