Your training program might need a face-lift. If you’re going to run a successful and long-lasting business, you need to make yourself attractive to the new population increasingly taking over the workplace – Millennials. And to get your Millennial workforce up and running, you need a proper training program, customized to Millennials strengths.
Why do you need to customize training to Millennials? Millennials think and act very differently than Boomers. According to Forbes, approximately 74% of employees surveyed believed that Millennials offer different and unique skill-sets that add a great deal of value to the workplace. Millennials have a great deal of technological know-how, and pride themselves on being self-sufficient — they prefer to find answers to their questions online rather than asking supervisors or external vendors for help.
Here are 4 main strategies to help increase the effectiveness of corporate training for Millennials.
Tip #1 –Communicating the Value of Training
To get Millennial “buy-in”, you must explain the full picture and its importance. Millennials must understand the important part that they play within the overall business, their individual roles and how this is reflected within the training process. This scene needs to be set for them. Properly communicate the value of training programs to Millennials and establish a connection, as well as an element of trust. Anything that can be done during training to demonstrate the power and flexibility of the training system should be emphasized.
Tip #2 –Evaluating Performance During and After Training
Monitor and evaluate employee performance both during and after the training period. Track employee progress using pre-determined milestones and see how far employees have come at the end. Compare the original training objectives to the end results to see what knowledge was successfully transferred and what knowledge was not. Use this information to pinpoint which training elements were successful and which were not.
Millennials feel comfortable sharing their opinions and feedback, so a relatively easy way to evaluate training is through gathering employees’ feedback. This can be done directly or on an individual basis, both after the training has ended and at intermediate intervals.
Tip #3 – Implementing Improved Training Tools
Appeal to Millennials tech-savvy side by incorporating new technological tools to aid in employee training. Interactive online guidance tools are tools that teach employees how to use different websites or web-based applications like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Workday etc. These online guidance tools guide employees step-by-step through a website or an application until they have completed specific tasks.
Millennials will attach more value to training if it is online and user friendly. The days where employees used folders of “desk instructions” are long gone. Generation X got by with paper cheat sheets, but these are not for Millennials. Millennials don’t do paper research.
A key additional benefit of these tools is that they also work for Boomers. They may not offer a silver bullet solution, but they certainly address the issue of the generation gap by providing better support to Boomers while simultaneously satisfying the technological needs of the Millennials.
Tip #4 – Personalizing Training to Increase Learning Retention
Personalize training as much as possible to each employee, depending on what department they work in and what they’re position is. Personalizing training means making sure that employees are only exposed to only those training materials that are relevant to the tasks they have to perform. In this way, prevent employees from being overwhelmed with extraneous information, forgetting what they’ve learned and ultimately getting frustrated.
Adopting the correct and customized training approach is essential if Millennials are to be effectively engaged. Supplementing the training program with suitable toolsets will provide synergy and deliver maximal Millennial adoption. This will help corporations in the long-run since their employees will be properly trained, satisfied and motivated at their jobs, which will help with long term sustainability.