There’s a lot of talk about the disparity between generations these days, specifically the difference between Gen X and Gen Y (better known as Millennials). The truth is that there is a huge chasm between these two groups of people, and it’s mostly due to the technology that’s been available to them in their lifetime. Millennials were born between the 1980s and the 2000s, a time period that saw a dramatic amount of change in how society conducts itself. The dawning of the internet era changed everything, and most people born in this era have had some form of online connectivity at the tip of their fingers for most of their lives. Now they’re entering the workforce in droves, which means that we have to figure out a way to connect with Millennials and effectively train them.
Dr. Christy Price, a psychology professor at Dalton State College, conducted a study and identified five steps to engaging and training Millennials to be the next incredible members of your team:
One of the biggest changes in Millennial engagement is utilizing a different approach to learning strategies. With Millennials, you might find that during training moments, it’s best to emphasize more creative, hands-on approaches for how to conduct business. Flexible structure and more collaboration will go a long way.
In an era where Google is at the tip of a finger, relevant information is the key to engagement. Millennials not only crave information for information’s sake, they want to understand how it’s relevant and important to their own circumstances and experiences. A great way to get across the relevant information in a training environment is to relate its relevance to their job performance and success rates of other candidates that came before them.
Millennials have grown up learning from a totally different teaching style than Gen X. Millennials are much more focused on the justification and rationale for policies and procedures: the WHY element. This might be a little difficult for everyone to wrap their heads around because sometimes we do things because we do them. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but there’s definitely going to be a learning curve for everyone. But, on a positive note, this training approach may help everyone on your team to evaluate and assess why we do things.
Training sessions don’t have to be “easy”, but there’s no reason for any tension in a room full of new recruits. Allowing a little freedom with how your people can complete assignments creates a relaxed environment that boosts morale and increases creativity and productivity!
The success of your Millennial team members might depend on the rapport they feel with the rest of your staff. If you cultivate an environment where people can get to know each other, you’ll see a huge increase in productivity going forward. Millennials thrive in an environment where they know and trust the people that they work with. Rapport can also extend to the constructive feedback you give on their performance. Be personable and relatable, while clearly laying out expectations.
Need more tips on how to engage and train Millennials? vidREACH is here to help.