A 2015 Pew Research report found that Millennials finally overtook Gen-Xers and Boomers in the workforce. Today, the challenges facing management is providing the right learning and retention strategies to engage this unique generation.
Engaging and retaining Millennials means creating a strategy that embraces emerging technology. With 10,000 Boomers a day leaving the workforce, time is running short!
Millennials are the first generation to have been surrounded by technology since birth. Because of this, they learn differently. To keep them engaged, organizations need to recognize this and design learning strategies geared to meet their unique needs.
Millennials learn best when offered real-life applications and are turned off by formal training and theoretical training. The media that grabs them the most is video. Psychology Today found that the average brain processes information 60,000 times faster than text based information. This effect is even more pronounced among Millennials.
Here are four elements to keep Millennials engaged.
- Collaborative Learning – Millennials are permanently attached to their mobile devices and they turn to social media and search engines to access and share information and receive advice. Video is perfect for this collaborative form of learning.
- Microlearning – Hyper-connectivity has resulted in Millennials having excellent abilities when it comes to fast action and multitasking, but it has also left them impatient. Take this into account and present information in small chunks so teams can assimilate and easily share information.
- Gamification – According to a recent Forbes article, when asked two thirds of gamers said that gaming was important in helping them to learn to create winning strategies, solve problems and become an effective team player. Incorporating concepts from gaming and integrating them into learning strategies can raise Millennial’s engagement.
- Mentoring – Millennials are constantly looking to mentors to gain knowledge. Managers can keep them engaged by offering regular feedback and keeping the lines of communication open. Including a coaching component can reinforce learning.
Millennials bring critical skills to the workplace. To engage them and grow your team, means you’ll have to understand their needs and incorporate strategies and learning opportunities that play to their strengths.