“The children are our future” and people, “the future is now”!
The children are grown and have entered the workforce as the millennial generation.
One day, they’ll be where you are now, and that’s a scary thought. Employers need to start investing in leadership for millennials YESTERDAY!
Millennials represent about half of the workforce in the US, but they are lacking in the traditional business skills of their predecessors. Employers, grab your elbow padded jackets and argyle sweaters, it’s your turn to play professor!
Breaking Down Walls
I’m a Millennial and I’m well aware of the stigma my generation has in the minds of older generations. Statements like “lazy”, “technology addicted”, and “avocado toast” are pretty synonymous with “Millennial” now. Some of that may be true (I can personally vouch for avocados, they are amazing), but when has there not been a misunderstanding between a younger and older generation?
While younger generations may be up to date on the latest tech and modern culture, older generations have the experience, networks, and wisdom that newer generations lack. We each have something that the other wants and it’s time to share our toys.
The point I’m trying to make is, we all need to grill our beef and eat it.
Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials can all learn something here. It’s time to start developing the next set of CEOs, managers, and supervisors to enter the business world.
Why Should You Care?
What will happen to your business when you leave? When you retire and take all your experience and skills with you, who’s going to fill that gap?
To ensure a successful business, sustainability is essential. That sustainability comes from developing and empowering other individuals with the tools they need to complete tasks independently in the future. Implementing a regular, adaptive education system in your business will ensure your employees are competent, engaged, and defined leaders in necessary areas. The success of your business is determined by how well trained your employees are!
⌈“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.”- Zig Ziglar⌋
As a collective economy, we’ve seen the Baby Boomer generation rapidly retire, opening careers and jobs for the Millennial generation to fill. But, businesses struggle to fill these gaps because they lack qualified or interested employees. Many job recruiters are now feeling those after effects when they are continually presented with a low volume of candidates. If proper training and development are continually ignored, we’ll all feel the consequences on some level.
The workplace just isn’t the same as it was 30 or even 10 years ago. One major difference between Millennials and Gen X or the Baby Boomer generation is learning styles and job loyalty. So, even though there are plenty of Millennials out there, retaining the right ones is challenging.
Active Learning and Mission Loyalty
By now, you’re hopefully on board with the concept of educating up and coming employees.
Let me give you some easy steps to do it:
1. Identify younger employees with potential. Seek out those who demonstrate leadership, problem solving, creative thinking etc., all that jazz. Starting with the right people is half the battle.
2. Talk to them! The Millennial generation focuses a lot on individualization. Figure out how they learn best. Once you have a better understanding of who you’re grooming, you can figure out how to best work with them. More on this in the next section.
3. Modern day employees are more concerned with a company’s values and culture than ever before. Implementing and enforcing good practices and procedures at all levels is necessary to keep your Millennial workforce dedicated. You can easily illustrate and fortify your company values through training and educational processes.
In our tech centered world, it’s no surprise that Millennials learn differently and have shorter attention spans for retaining information.
How do you get through to Millennials? Let me introduce you to “microlearning”!
Microlearning is centered on short, self-directed educational formats like videos, quizzes, or games. Each segment focuses on a specific idea or skill, breaking up information into easily understood parts that can be built on.
Additionally, microlearning is mostly digital, allowing younger generations to access their training at anytime, anywhere, on any device. This learning method provides employees with the skills and knowledge they need immediately to complete a task, instead of dumping mass amounts of information on them at once.
Microlearning allows the user’s progress to be tracked and tested during or after the session, lifting the burden off senior employees and making it easier for the user to retain the information. These small segments also easily fit into the work day because they are short and concise.
As a business, you could either produce your own instructional formats or buy them. Whichever you choose, microlearning should be the teaching method you use from here on out.
The Old and the New
Microlearning is a wonderful learning method, but don’t skip out on all the old ways. Developing a mentorship is mutually beneficial for learning. Pass on your direct knowledge about certain customers or practices and be open to being taught updated methods yourself. Some specific knowledge and skills can only be learned from face to face interaction with another person who’s been down the road before.
Knowledge can only take effect if it’s shared. This blend of educational methods may be the key you need to gaining and retaining successful Millennial employees. After all, if you invest in them, they’re more likely to invest in you.
Millennials are willing to switch jobs until they find one where they feel comfortable and agree with the business’s values and actions. Use your training methods as a mechanism to relate to the younger generation and solidify their presence.
Millennials are worth investing in because one day they’ll be the ones running the economy. Investing in younger generations, is also investing in the continued success of your company. Take advantage of the resources around you to best educate your employees and motivate them to stay with your business for a long period of time.
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Want to Get Started With Microlearning?
Check Out These Resources:
Grovo– Create and watch professional training videos
Coursmos– Create and/or watch thousands of training courses
Yammer– Create and join chat groups to ask and answer questions