Important Considerations for Employee Training and Learning
Employee training of the past was often not sufficiently adequate for prior generations. There was little done to make the learning more concrete, relevant, timely, and in small enough portions to be fully digested at a time. Now, we have the millennial generation entering the workforce. Millennials generally thought of as individuals who were born between the years of 1980 and 2000. They currently hold one-third of all U.S. jobs. They are the first generation of digital natives and come to your business with different expectations and needs for training than prior generations.
What are the Unique Training Needs of Millennial Employees? -
The millennial generation has grown up surrounded by good digital content. The millennial employee will quickly bore when presented poor quality digital employee training materials. Millennials are blasted with information on a constant basis and tend to have smaller attention spans. They are not as receptive to new information unless they feel clear that there is a benefit to learning it. They tend to lack the stamina for reading long training materials.
It is important to realize that not all training can be effectively conducted at once if your goal is retention. Rather than bombarding employees with new information in a lengthy training period, employees can receive microlearning sessions. Microlearning is where the training takes place in a very short duration, around two to 15 minutes, and is highly targeted to build specific skills. A good microlearning session is where the skills are learned in the context of work so that the employee needs the new information and must utilize it immediately to complete their present task. This type of employee learning is highly concrete and engaging.
Provide Mentoring and Timely Feedback -
When a millennial leaves a job, it takes $24,000 for the average company to rehire and train another employee. It is imperative for companies to provide adequate employee learning experiences, reinforcement, as well as concrete and timely feedback to retain their workers. One perfect way to keep employees is to assign a mentor to them. A mentor can provide timely feedback, help in avoiding common mistakes on the job, and opportunities to groom the mentee into management positions.
Provide Quality Digital Learning -
Millennials expect to be able to bring their device and receive training on their cell phone, tablet, laptop, or computer. When contextualizing training materials and help, employees can get the information they need as they are in the midst of performing their job. Providing detailed and relevant training that the employee will retain is far more effective than one long training session delivered at the outset of employment.Such digital learning is more engaging and concrete when it is gamified or when there is a virtual reality scenario. One of the leading retailers in the country utilizes a computerized quest game to teach employees the perils of unethical behavior, such as taking breaks that are too long, allowing customers or other employees to use sales products while at work, as well as other immoral work behaviors that harm the bottom line.When management teams allow millennials to learn in shorter bits of information that are more concrete and relevant to them, they will tend to acquire knowledge more deeply and retain the materials. Also, they will not be held hostage to lengthy training regimens with little retention. The new generation expects to be trained digitally as a part of their training, and they benefit from mentoring that includes concrete and timely feedback. Adapting learning and training to the needs of a new generation of the employee will help the new hires grow into their jobs and be more productive long-term.