Professional development and training are incredibly important to your Millennial employees. It’s so important that 95 percent of this generation, born between 1980 and the late ‘90s, are willing to pay for their own, writes Julie Cook Ramirez for Human Resources Executive Online. Allow your company to set its training program apart by engaging and quenching their thirst for knowledge.
“Take a look at the volume of opportunities available for young managers to develop their leadership skills,” writes Chelsea Weber for Business 2 Community. You should evaluate whether Millennial employees are encouraged to participate in training and apply their newfound skills at work. “Setting aside the time and resources for leadership development shows a commitment to young managers and is likely to get commitment in return.”
Here are three ways to make sure your training appeals to Millennials.
Diversify Your Offerings
Make sure your training offers Millennials relevant skills and options to diversify what they know, suggests Kevin Cundiff in Business 2 Community. “Because of the way Millennial salespeople learn and communicate, (employers) should consider freshening up their approach to training,” he writes. Millennials “want to be engaged by and engage with their employers — and they don’t want to be bored while they’re doing it.”
Make sure your program offers new skills and clear goals. “Set specific benchmarks for them to strive toward from day one,” Cundiff writes. “That way, they’ll have an understanding of expectations and how close they are to meeting them. This can also encourage some healthy competition, motivating employees to push boundaries and go beyond what is expected.”
Using up-to-date technology will allow your Millennial employees to train at their own pace, Weber writes. Millennials want to “experience more collaborative problem-solving and autonomy to decide how and what they need to learn,” she writes. “Even those programs that don’t portend to be spouting knowledge from one single person into the awaiting minds of managers may need to shift in the direction of more flexible and collaborative.”
Focus On Communication
You might not be training Millennials explicitly in communication skills, but weaving them into your entire professional development program will pay off in the long run. “Skills for dialogue — active listening, powerful questioning, and personal engagement — can be developed via collaborative learning experiences and encouraged around the workplace,” Weber writes. “If dialogue becomes the norm, Millennial managers will start to build the culture they seek and contribute to their organizations in a very meaningful way.”
Or, take this idea more literally. Training programs that include a language component could especially satiate your Millennial employees’ desire to learn, according to HRM Asia. “By 2025, Millennials will comprise 75 percent of the workforce,” according to the story, which quoted Judy Verses, president of Global Enterprise and Education at Rosetta Stone. “Their ability to grow and develop into global leaders capable of voicing their opinions in a variety of languages will make them more effective managers and far-thinking innovators.”