Usually known as the digital natives, millennials make up about a quarter of the global workforce. According to a 2014 survey, Deloitte predicted that millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025.
People have been buzzing about millennials in the corporate world and lots of stereotypes have been formed about them over the years. The truth is that millennials are tech-savvy and they expect things to be fast-paced compared to previous generations. A PWC report stated that the millennial generation’s world is digital and this has an inevitable effect on the way they communicate; 41% of those questioned said they would rather communicate electronically than face-to-face or over the telephone. The key lies in taking advantage of these traits. One major way to explore the interest of millennials for technology is through job training. According to a survey conducted by Deloitte, the opportunity for career development is the number one priority (after salary) for millennials in the market. They are avid learners, extremely ambitious and career-oriented.
To understand more about the challenge of training millennial employees, it is essential to know who millennials are:
- Born between 1981 – 2000
- Nearly 80 million in population (Baby Boomers = 72 million; Gen X = 41 million)
- 41% of the total US population
- 75% grew up with working mothers
- About half are currently in the workforce
- 70% are ‘friends’ with their managers and workers on Facebook.
- 69% of millennials believe office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis. (Cisco)
- Over 63% of millennials that work have a Bachelor’s degree.
Tips for training millennials:
- Provide engaging role-based Video training
Video content are more likely to catch the attention of millennials more effectively than a text-heavy website. This explains why YouTube is growing so rapidly these days. According to the Pew research center, 92% of online adults ages 18 – 29 reported watching videos on a video sharing site compared to 80% for ages 30 – 49 and 54% for ages 50 – 64. This proves the proneness of millennials towards video production. Procurement and Supply Chain Academy have put in place scenario-based e-learning where learners experience real-work situations. This proves to be more engaging and allow them to better understand the situation and apply their knowledge and skills directly to their jobs. The emphasis is mostly on visuals with the objective to create a lasting impact on learners. Surveys revealed that 40% of learners respond better to visual information than text alone. A survey by McGraw-Hill Education revealed that 77% of learners say that adaptive technology has helped them improve their grades and 48% of students say that technology helps them save time.
- Gamification – when work and play collides
According to a survey, the gamification industry is expected to reach a staggering $11 billion by 2020. Based on this survey, adopting gamification practices seem to be a good idea for future business management. What explains the results of this survey is surely the rise of millennials. Along with being keen about digitization, they seem to like mixing work and play. Studies have shown that gamification enhances learner engagement and improves retention. With a high engagement rate, learners are able to further develop their analytical thinking skills by moving forward through the games. Gamification is an effective way to get millennials more engaged in their trainings. As a result, they can apply these skills in their jobs more efficiently.
- Accessibility and Flexibility
Millennials have the need to improve and want to do it their way. It is essential to let go of the stereotype that millennials are lazy. Studies have proved that to get the most of a millennial employee, it is best to be flexible enough and allow their natural talents to shine. Many of them have proved to be more productive this way. Besides, this generation is fast-paced and they expect everything to be fast and easily accessible. Training millennials and making their courses more accessible is a good tactic to motivate them. They want learning to be fast, fun and flexible.
This explains the growing popularity of the e-learning industry. According to Docebo E-learning market trends & forecast 2014 – 2016 report, the huge growth of the e-learning industry has been up to 900% since the year 2000. Millennials like the easy accessibility of digital learning. Learners can learn in their comfort zone as e-learning materials may be accessible to the workforce anytime anywhere. Unlike classroom training, digital learning allows employees to learn at their own pace in comfortable settings, having a positive impact on retention and the completion rate. This makes it easier for learners from different time zones to get access to their courses anytime. It results in a more engaged workforce; studies have shown that organizations can achieve 18% boost in employee engagement by using e-learning technology.
- Be in favor of ongoing training.
According to CED Magazine seven out of ten respondents in a 2015 survey said that job-related training and development opportunities directly influence their decision to stay in a company. Millennials want to learn and improve their skills. According to a survey by Man power group about millennial careers; the vast majority of Millennials—93%—see ongoing skills development as an important part of their future careers. They would pay for it personally and give up their own time to do it. Only 7% of Millennials have no interest in training. Providing ongoing training to millennials workers can be a good idea to keep them focus and make them more productive. It has been proven that millennials want to be able to apply all of the information they have learned and put every skill to use.
- Tracking progress
With the advent of social networks, millennials have been exposed to constant feedbacks about everything they post. They expect the same from their online learning experiences. While some generations may shy away from feedbacks, millennials appreciate constructive criticisms and are constantly keen to track their progress. With e-learning solutions, millennials can easily track all their performances. This allows them to be more focus and improve where they are lacking. At Procurement academy, with a simple log in and password, learners can have access to their overall performance. This allows them to have a 360 degrees view on their progress. In this way, they are more motivated to do well to earn their valuable certifications at the end of their programs. The absence of tutors leads to independent and responsible learners.
Millennials have redefined the world of work and will continue to have a significant impact in the future. This generation has been characterized as having a deep understanding and appreciation for technology and social connectedness. Being career-oriented, they expect to have good leaders who will understand their needs and help them reach their full potential. As far as training is concerned, they expect their learning experience to be closely related with technological advances. This explains why more and more companies are opting for innovative learning solutions like simulations, role-based e-learning, gamification and webinars to train their employees effectively and achieve superior learning outcome.