Learning and Development teams cannot ignore Millennials anymore, given their increasing presence in the workforce. In this article, I share insights on their traits and learning preferences and a few tips and strategies that you can use to engage your millennial workforce and provide them with an effective learning experience.
According to most researchers and demographers, Millennials belong to the generation of people born between 1980s and early 2000s. They are also sometimes referred to as Gen Y. They’re becoming a force to reckon with as their presence in organizational workforces and several leading global economies is increasing.
This generation has grown up differently, and deserves to be treated differently. Learning strategies that otherwise work for older generations aren’t likely to find resonance with folks of this ilk.
It therefore becomes important to understand their traits, their learning preferences, their behavior, and how they go about their everyday lives to be able to create learning strategies that grab (and retain) their attention and help them apply that learning on the job.
Some of the key characteristics of the millennial generation:
Furthermore, their learning styles show the following notable aspects:
Here are some of the strategies you can use to help Millennials learn and apply that learning on the job:
1. Offer Responsive mLearning Or Mobile Learning.
According to a survey, about 40% of Millennials interact more with their smartphones than they do with people. Besides, about 77% of Millennials spend more than two hours every day on their smartphones. Responsive mobile learning solutions and the flexibility to learn on the device of their choice will resonate well with Millennials.
2. Use Microlearning.
Bite-sized learning is an ideal way to engage Millennials and offset the short attention spans challenge associated with them. Also, the fact that they like hands-on learning experiences makes a great case for using microlearning nuggets as Performance Support Tools (PSTs).
3. Extend To Social Learning.
According to a survey, 83% of Millennials said they have a Facebook account. This generation loves social media. Their liking for collaborative experiences can be leveraged using forums and communities of practice that facilitate social learning, collaborative learning, knowledge sharing, and curation of learner created content.
4. Engage With Gamification Of Learning.
The concept of gamification resonates really well with Millennials. You can use gamification elements in learning to challenge and motivate these learners and bring about the required engagement.
5. Use Videos Extensively And Offer Learning Nuggets In Rich Media Formats.
Videos are a big hit with Millennials. According to a report, 81% of Millennials in the U.S. watch videos on YouTube. This also justifies the fact that they like searching and choosing what they want to watch contrary to watching shows on TV. You can use this trait to your advantage and offer video-based learning nuggets to engage them.
6. Offer A Learning Path Based Approach.
You can offer learning as a series in the form of a learning path and help Millennials learn, practice, and take remediation along the journey.
7. Wearable Tech.
It allows Millennials to be able to interact with the device at all times and can be leveraged to push learning nuggets or performance support learning aids. Wearable tech also serves the immediacy purpose better, and, due to the aesthetic appeal, goes well with the fashion element to excite Millennials as well.
8. Curated Personalized Learning.
As mentioned earlier, Millennials like exploring information. Curation of content gives them the opportunity to learn and contribute at the same time. Besides, personalization of learning to suit their individual learning style will go a long way in helping the learning stick.
You can also take a look at this video on the various types of strategies you can use to engage your millennial workforce.
I hope this article provides the required insights on Millennials (who they are and why they are significant for Learning and Development teams) and how can you create the right learning strategies (based on their traits, learning styles, and learning preferences) to engage them. If you have any queries, do contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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