Millennial learning: Strategies for the career training they demand
Millennials have finally surpassed in numbers the previously largest generation, the baby boomers in America. According to Pew Research Center, there are 75.4 million millennials who are currently playing a major role in organizations. Additionally, 84% of this tech-foucsed group owns a smartphone, the Nielsen Mobile Youth Telefonica survey shows. This is a talented group, vital to a company's success, but are organizations prepared for the high level of career development that this proactive generation demands?
A good place for companies to start:
- Invest the time and effort in getting to know the millennial generation on a deeper level.
- Evaluate learning modules to get rid of any extraneous information and add value by providing an interactive and fun learning environment.
- Combine onboarding programs with ongoing efforts to help millennials learn at their pace.
Millennials are influencing corporate learning
Earlier this month, we reported that Millennials were having an impact on the way corporate learning is delivered. Millennials are the first generation that’s been raised entirely with the Internet at their fingertips, on every type of mobile device, and they are connected 24/7 to information. Research from LearnDash contributor Justin Ferriman advised that the average "millennial employee under the age of 25 expects to find a virtual learning platform in the work environment."
E-learning is welcomed by millennials because it’s something that they look forward to as a normal part of their career development – and let's face it, they intend to move up the corporate ladder fast.
Delivering meaningful learning content to Millennials
Millennials best absorb information in small chunks and through a variety of stimulating media. Video-enabled micro-learning is the most effective method of introducing new concepts. It's not always feasible for an organization to generate enough video content, so some learning and development teams are turning to low cost and creative social tools, like YouTube, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Blab.
Organizations are also tapping into existing subject matter experts to transfer their knowledge through carefully managed mentoring programs. Others, such as Rafael Solis, co-founder of a cloud learning and talent development firm, Braidio, believe that self-directed learning can support the drive that millennials have to know what they are learning as well as why.
How can a company best plan for it's Millennials' career growth?
Depending on where your organization stands now with a corporate career development program, there could still be work done to address the unique needs of millennials. According to Anand Timothy, co-founder and director of business development at eNyota Learning and a contributor to eLearning Industry; millennials are the generation that believes technology should adapt to their needs, and therefore learning must have "relevance and a rationale." In other words, if one hopes to engage and inspire millennials there has to be a motivation outside of a certificate — they need real information that applies directly to their work and future advancement.
Millennials are also used to gaming and social collaboration, says Timothy. Learning modules that can integrate these two aspects help to win the battle for their attention. These activities can be highly satisfying. While a job is not a "game," it may be viewed as a personal competition to excel in front of peers. Learning content that blends team collaboration, yet helps millennials to prove themselves by identifying their skills can be powerful.
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