Millennials are transforming the workplace. This generation has different expectations from their employers, has different values, and tends to do things differently. Millennials make up 38 percent of the workforce, and these employees are characterized by two trends: First, young professionals are more likely to switch jobs if they aren’t satisfied, and second, there is a significant skills gap in some industries.
A training program designed to engage Millennials can address the skills gaps and improve employee retention. But what do Millennials expect from their employer in terms of training opportunities, and how can you meet those expectations?
What Do Millennials Want? For 60 percent of Millennials, an opportunity to learn on the job is extremely important. This is a significant fact because it underlines the importance of learning opportunities and Millennials’ preference for on-the-job learning.
This is a generation that values learning and knowledge, but also wants access to training resources that will help them become capable, confident, productive employees. These expectations coincide with more companies adopting central repositories of knowledge, such as resource libraries.
Training that directly translates into career growth opportunities will contribute to learner engagement since Millennials will see this as a direct benefit. Training should also be flexible and embrace technology, since half of Millennials feel they can learn outside of a classroom.
How to Engage Millennials? There are different learner engagement strategies to explore when developing your e-learning program.
1. Bite-Sized Training, Interactive Content, and Videos Not all Millennials are digital natives, but this is a generation that relies on technology to accomplish a wide range of tasks. They are more likely to consume video content compared to other forms of media, and more likely to pay attention to this format and retain information.
Providing short videos that require a couple of minutes of engagement makes training highly customizable because learners can review goals for each short unit of content and decide which videos or training modules they want to consume.
This flexible approach allows Millennials to actively engage with your training program without committing to hours at a time. Millennials can switch tasks up to 27 times per hour and value work-life balance, which makes bite-sized learning the best way to deliver information.
Bite-sized modules are ideal for mobile learning. Millennials will definitely be more engaged with an e-learning program if they can access content on their smartphones. Keep in mind that training that relies on outdated tech can become frustrating for young professionals.
2. Gamification Millennials are a generation that grew up with video games. Video game mechanisms can be incorporated into your e-learning program to help learners map their progression, develop a sense of accomplishment, play a more active role in deciding what to study next, and reduce disengagement.
Badges, points, and other game mechanics provide learners with a simple way to track their progress. It makes training more fun, and young employees will actively seek new learning opportunities if you transform game mechanics into a way to set precise goals and track progress.
3. Social Learning Millennials value collaboration and social learning. In fact, 88 percent of Millennials would rather collaborate than compete at work. Adding social features to your e-learning program will help employees develop a community based on collaboration and learning.