Jan 28, 201601:25 PMOpen Mic
Send us your blog for consideration!
Let’s take the mystery out of training millennials
(page 1 of 2)
“What are the most effective ways to train millennials?” is probably the question that training professionals hear more often than any other today.
To training professionals who were born before 1980 — the year when the first millennials were born — the question can seem mysterious and complex. We look at millennials and see a group of young people who seem addicted to texting on their phones, who sometimes seem skeptical about the lessons we want to teach them, and who are prone to changing jobs frequently.
That’s what we see, or what we think we see. But do those rough observations really reflect who millennials are? Do they offer useful insights on how millennials should be trained?
The answer is, not really. So let’s decode the millennial mindset more strategically and see what we can learn about how to train them effectively.
Meet the millennial cohort
The so-called millennial generation (also called “Generation Y”) includes people born between 1980 and 1998. Many older millennials, now in their early to mid-30s, are already established in their careers. Chances are that a number of them are already working throughout the ranks of your organization. They have already taken part in your training, maybe even designed parts of your training, and chances are very good that you already understand their learning preferences better than you expect. Another factor to consider is that some of the millennials who work for you are currently training your other millennials. So while you think you don’t know or understand them at all, you probably do.
Key traits of younger millennials
Let’s focus on younger working millennials — those born between about 1990 and 1995. Chances are they are the group that is causing you to feel the most uncertainty regarding training. Millennials born between those years are the younger workers who might be applying for their first “real” post-college jobs with your organization right now. They’re young and fresh-faced. If you’re a generation or two older than they are, it could be that you’ve hit some roadblocks when creating training programs that work well for them.
Although generalizations tend to be flawed, here are some attitudes that training professionals have found to be shared by significant members of this cohort.
- An entrepreneurial mindset — They want to stake out a business identity and space for themselves, even in larger companies.
- Risk tolerance — Many are self-confident, able to take risks, and willing to help their employers take chances too.
- A love of technology — They tend to be highly mobile and like to access information and training on smartphones and tablets.
- Social consciousness — They tend to be compassionate and respond positively to working for companies that embrace and support social causes and “do good in the world.”
- Openness — Many welcome being part of diverse workforces. Furthermore, they are more welcoming of alternative lifestyles than preceding generations were.
- Career mobility — Your assumptions that millennials are job-hoppers could be correct. Many do not hesitate to change jobs as a way to achieve personal goals and success.