How To Engage And Train Millennials

I’ve been building Recruitment Guide, a recruitment training hub for the past year and as part of this journey I’ve had to consider again and again whether it will meet the expectations of and effectively engage millennials. My 30 years’ experience in recruitment has provided a wealth of knowledge I can share with this confident and ‘can do’ attitude millennial generation, but they require more than current standard training to engage and develop their careers.
Considering the huge cultural and tech advances that have taken place in the work place in the last decade and the number of managers who have broached this subject with me over the years, I realise this is a widespread concern. There’s a few tips I’ve learnt whilst building Recruitment Guide which I thought would be useful for managers to consider when training this new generation of assertive and tech savvy employees;
[bctt tweet=”Training millennials require a different set of skills says @jamescaan” username=”ATCevent”]

Be tech-savvy

The clear strength of millennials in the workplace is their confidence in using technology. Tech is the best way of engaging them and allowing innovation to thrive in your business, so be sure to use the latest tech to introduce and develop new recruits to your team. As a sharing generation too, it’s worth looking into how social media channels can be utilised to share the result of a small-group discussion or providing custom eLearning so that trainees can access development tools on their laptop, iPad, or mobile phones.  Technology has given us all the ability to skip anything that’s uninteresting and irrelevant.  That means you need to ensure the content covers what they actually need to know, and that they can see why this impacts them directly. Millennials have developed through gamification and so it’s really worth factoring this into their learning. leadership2Allow trainees to unlock badges as they make progress, create an online leadership table or consider offering real prizes to acknowledge exceptional performance.  Keep the focus on competition, not assessment because Millennials see competition as a fun road to personal development.

Be concise and visual

The more comprehensive your corporate training programme is, the more equipped your millennial employee will be to maximise their potential in their role.  Most millennials respond well to training based around visual stimuli, information that is easily absorbed through presentations and infographics. To train millennials effectively it is even more imperative to keep the content sharp and concise. As a self-motivated and digitally resourceful generation, you can direct learners on where to locate and how to use job tools available to them which may even be outside of your business offering. Consider the use of short how-to videos or task relevant, scenario based games that can be viewed whilst travelling or during down time rather than lengthy employee handbooks or documents.

Provide a structured development plan with clear objectives

The millennial generation is far from being complacent. They feel an urgency to acquire new skills through ongoing learning.  This not only increases motivation, it improves their job satisfaction whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills that they require to carry out their tasks efficiently. Businesses who invest in their staff in the long term are more likely to see a low employee turnover rate too because of this. Most millennials have experience with entry-level positions, but might be seeking their first step up into a management role. Therefore they’ll want a clear understanding of the criteria being used to evaluate their performance and how their success will be measured. Conveying clear expectations throughout the training process and as part of a development plan will allow them to focus clearly on the goals in sight and use the tools available to them to get there.
[bctt tweet=”The millennial generation is far from complacent and are in fact very keen to acquire new skills” username=”ATCevent”]
Investing in the development of every member of staff, whether they are from the baby boomer, Generation Y or millennial intake is always worthwhile. The continued proliferation of tech means we must all adapt to survive and develop because training methods from a decade ago are no longer fit for purpose for roles in our growing digital economy. That’s why Recruitment Guide, my own step by step process and recruitment training hub will be available online. Today, employees want more from their career than just a good salary and title. They want job satisfaction, to be valued and to be part of a community culture. Not just another number on the payroll.  If you keep my tips in mind when training your new millennial recruits, hopefully you’ll have a better chance of retaining them too!
Image: Shutterstock

This article first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse on April 27th, 2016. 

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