Millennials are the next generation making their way into the workforce. This means that millennials are now entering management positions and will soon be your direct reports — if they’re not already.
At first glance, this sounds great! Millennials are energetic, enthusiastic, and generally eager to learn new things. However, do not be fooled into thinking that millennials are easy to train. They need a different approach than prior generations of workers. Millennials are a special and unique generation, which means that they require different strategies for training than generations before them.
If you want to get the most out of your millennial employees, try these eight strategies:
1. Offer Company-Wide Training
Many companies offer training programs on an individual basis or at most on a team basis. However, millennials generally prefer to learn as a group. They will be more engaged and likely to retain information if they learn as part of a group than if they learn as an individual.
You can also encourage them to enroll in various courses to expand their skill sets beyond what is typically required in their current positions. For instance, The SkillsFuture series launched by the government of Singapore was specially designed with millennials in mind that will help cultivate skills and knowledge among Singaporeans.
2. Focus on Experience Over Content
Because millennials are enthusiastic, they prefer to learn experiential learning rather than just memorizing factual information. This means that instead of having them sit in a lecture, have them actually accomplish the task.
Have them solve real problems on their own, go to conferences for training, or complete group projects where everyone is responsible for having learned something new.
3. Play To Their Strengths: Collaboration
Millennials prefer to learn in collaborative environments. Therefore, you should structure their training so that they can work together and support each other.
To facilitate this, you may want to consider taking a blended approach where some training is online or asynchronous, while some are face-to-face with instructors or peers.
4. Keep Track of Their Training
Many millennials feel overwhelmed when they accumulate many courses and certificates. As such, you should keep track of all the training that your millennial employees have completed and highlight them on their performance reviews or during new employee onboarding.
By doing this, you will give your millennial employees a sense of achievement and build their confidence, which will help to motivate them.
5. Recognize & Reward Training
To keep millennials engaged and motivated, you should always thank them for the training that they complete.
You can also reward them with additional compensation or benefits, such as extra time off or even cash bonuses. This will make it more likely for your millennial employees to continue to make time for training and will show them how much you appreciate their effort.
6. Provide Frequent Feedback
Millennials like frequent feedback because it gives them specific examples about how they can improve and what they’re doing right.
As such, you should provide millennials with feedback as often as possible, both on a macro and micro level. For instance, they’d like to receive feedback immediately after they complete a task or assignment. However, millennials also like to receive regular performance reviews which highlight how they’re doing relative to their objectives and goals.
7. Prioritize Company Culture
Millennials place a high value on company culture when considering a new job opportunity.
As such, you should highlight the benefits of your corporate culture in terms of engaging training, employee development opportunities, work-life balance, and so forth. This will help to attract your millennial workers while also ensuring that they’re motivated and engaged when working for your company.
8. Be Flexible
When you’re training millennials, it’s important to remember that they are not just looking for a job or paycheck — they want flexible work arrangements as well!
Millennials tend to prioritize flexibility in terms of schedule and time off. So, if possible, schedule meetings outside core hours like 10 am-1 pm and give them the option of taking time off during peak times such as Fridays. This way, you can ensure higher engagement from your millennial workforce.
The eight strategies we’ve provided should help you get the most out of your millennial employees by focusing on experience over content, playing to their strengths with collaboration, keeping track of their training through tracking systems and recognition & rewards programs as well as providing frequent feedback.
Make sure to prioritize company culture when attracting millennials because they place high value in when considering new job opportunities. Be flexible too — schedule meetings outside core hours or allow time off during peak times!