Training millennials in the workplace, and even Gen Z, has been a largely debated topic amongst professionals. Simon Sinek is one of the people we most often quote when talking about managing millennials in the workplace, and for a good reason.
He says: “I too believe millennials are a remarkable generation and smarter than any other before them. In my life, I am learning more from millennials than anyone. Having grown up with such access to information, those who choose to use it wisely are the most brilliant people I know. I like to surround myself with smart people so that I am learning constantly and there’s an awareness, an instinct that millennials possess that just can’t be taught. They sniff out anything that is fake and have a passion for purity. I sympathize with the conclusions on the lack of self-confidence in millennials that Simon addresses though. I hope to be a better leader so that I can help with this. Millennials really do have the ability to resolve many of the world’s issues if we support and understand them better.”
Human resources leaders are often tasked with finding ways of training and mentoring millennials in the workplace. While not necessarily challenging, what is most effective is different from what has historically been used. As such, understanding millennials in the workplace becomes the problem.
At Trakstar, we build people management software that helps HR leaders understand millennials in the workplace, track what motivates millennials in the workplace, and, perhaps most importantly, train millennials in the workplace. To learn some actionable tips about managing millennials in workplace training, keep reading. To find out more about Trakstar’s software, you can schedule a personalized demo.
If Millennials Are So Smart – Why Do They Even Need Training?
Everyone knows how hard it can be to keep employees motivated and engaged in training, and millennials are no different. Some HR leaders have even stopped training younger generations at the rate they train older ones. Why? Younger generations are more likely to go out and find ways to do things independently. However, this can quickly lead to burnout, employee churn, and misinformation.
With training, we are doing more than relaying information. We are teaching employees how to operate within your organizational culture and structure. Your training is an investment in your employees and your culture. It’s no secret that training and upskilling can increase employee engagement and loyalty, particularly among millennials.
It’s hard, but millennials make up the largest generation in the workforce and, for the next few decades, will be that largest population. You cannot outrun them – they are quite literally going to define a majority of your career.
Why Is Training Millennials In the Workplace So Hard? And What Can You Do?
Training millennials is so difficult for a variety of reasons, the primary one being that millennials are focused on being entrepreneurs and making money for themselves – they don’t necessarily love the idea of finding one place to grow and build wealth for someone else. However, as times change and millennials settle down with families and homes, the consistency and reliability of a traditional job is appealing.
The problem? Their habits are hard to break.
Leading and understanding millennials in the workforce require them to feel like they are not only part of your organization and culture, but that they are actively contributing to it. The best way you can do that is through training and upskilling as part of overall talent development. But it’s difficult.
They Have Trouble Focusing
Millennials grew up right on the cusp of social media, binge-watching shows, and YouTube – and it’s severely impacted the way they learn best. They can focus on things for hours at a time (for example, the newest season of Stranger Things or Love is Blind), but they always have distractions around them. Millennials are better working in shorter bursts of time. When they can switch attention, they are more likely to be successful.
What can you do? When building training materials, keep things short and sweet. Microlearning and quick courses will give them the information they need without the additional frills. Use your LMS to build shorter courses they can take when they have the time.
One great LMS is Trakstar Learn. Our purpose-built software is designed to help your team understand and process training content, no matter where they are in the world. With the built in Insights dashboard, you can get data about what courses are working at making an impact on your success.
They Like To Be Entertained
Millennials in the workforce often ask us to be better and do better – including in your training materials. This generation is more likely to watch a short video training session than they are to read through a written course, even with different questions or quizzes built into them.
What can you do? Use video! Use audio! Take screen recordings! Use your phone to make short little videos that you can use as microlearning in your LMS, Slack conversations, email blasts, and more.
They Want Human Connection
A common misunderstanding about millennials is that they do not like being around people; in fact, they crave those relationships. However, they don’t always need it to look like friendship. Mentorship and coaching are important parts of that. They have always had strong leaders in their lives and want that to continue. You need to look into building a mentorship or coaching program.
These programs can help your tenured employees find connections with new employees, welcoming them into your organizational culture and bringing everyone together around similar goals and methods.
What can you do? Build a mentorship program at your company! Starting one isn’t a small effort, but it will pay off with increased employee engagement.
They Need Accessibility
Millennials are diverse learners, speakers, thinkers, and performers, and they need learning management that meets their needs. Remote work changes things quite a bit, and you may have people in your workforce who have accessibility needs you’ve never had to meet before now. Creating diverse, interesting, rich training programs is important to make an impact.
Use a variety of materials, ensure your audio and visual content has options for those who may not be able to use it and always check for bias.
What can you do? Be sure that all of your training is designed to meet the needs of everyone within your company, not just millennials. Instead, create a variety of training options to keep people engaged.
They Prioritize What You Do
Millennials are interested in being good employees and role models for future generations. They want to improve their own leadership skills and are, above all, some of the best team players you’ll have. However, they model the behavior they see. This means that you need to show that you’re continually learning and growing as an employee as well. If they see other people learning and growing, they’ll want to do the same thing.
What can you do? Be sure to show others within your organization learning and growing. Call it out when people are undergoing the training they need to go through and excel at it.
Develop A Training Program For Millennials (and Everyone Else!)
Trakstar is one of the leading HR platforms that helps you make smarter decisions around your hiring, educating, engaging, and retaining your employees. With the help of Trakstar’s purpose-built training and onboarding software, you can engage everyone in your workforce with training, including millennials.
Even better, Insights for Trakstar Learn helps you to monitor the effectiveness of your employees and the training you create. When armed with this data, you can make the small but powerful changes you need to have an even better employee training program.
To learn more about Trakstar’s platform, including Trakstar Learn, you can schedule a personalized demo today.