One of the biggest challenges companies face today is finding effective ways to train and retain millennials. Millennials are sometimes described as “lazy” or “entitled.” On the contrary, millennials are driven, possess essential skills, and hold a lot of potential. I can write this confidently because I’m a millennial. And as a millennial who works in the learning industry, I see many ways in which companies can step up their game to engage and develop us.
1. Share the Vision
Millennials are invested in “meaningful work” — work that has impact and value in the big picture. Sharing the vision for our development and the “why” behind what we’re learning helps us to identify its relevance and understand why what’s being taught is important to the organization.
2. Self-Management + Coaching = Engagement
Cut classroom training to a minimum and allow millennials to dive head-first into self-managed learning. We prefer to learn at our own pace, without falling behind or getting bored by previously-learned content. Providing coaches can help us to evaluate our successes and failures along the way.
3. Offer Right-Sized Training
Make sure learning isn’t too short or too long. Training should be to the point and without all the “fluff.” For us millennials, “bite-sized” is the best size. Know the difference between what is absolutely necessary to know and what would be nice to know. Require the “need-to-know,” and make the “nice-to-know” optional.
4. Give Continuous Feedback and Performance Support
The only way anything will improve is with valuable, constructive feedback. Millennials seek constant (and I mean constant) and consistent feedback from our leaders and mentors. Additionally, providing quick, on-the-job training information and resources creates a transparent and performance-first workplace and learning environment.
5. Believe In Your Millennials and Their Potential
Millennials are not lazy or entitled. We value knowledge, and as we put that knowledge to good use, we can create a more powerful workplace. As learning professionals, you need to foster effective learning environments that will enhance our growth, both personally and professionally.
By the year 2025, millennials are expected to make up more than 75% of the global workforce. Don’t you think it is time to embrace us, engage us, and help us to reach our fullest potential?