Rural Water - Quarter 4, 2018 - 17
Let's Take the
Mystery Out of
Important steps to take and misconceptions to avoid
BY EVAN HACKEL
"What are the most
effective ways to train millennials?" is
probably the question that training professionals hear more often
than any other today.
To those training professionals who were born before 1980-
the year when the first millennials were born-the question can
seem mysterious and complex. We look at millennials and see
a group of young people who seem addicted to texting on their
phones, who sometimes seem skeptical about the lessons we
want to teach them and who are prone to changing jobs frequently.
That's what we see, or what we think we see. But do those
rough observations really reflect who millennials are? Do they offer
useful insights on how millennials should be trained?
The answer is, not really. So let's decode the millennial mindset
more strategically and see what we can learn about how to train
Meet the Millennial Cohort
The so-called millennial generation (also called "Generation
Y") includes people born between 1980 and 1998. Many older
millennials, now in their early to mid-30s, are already established
in their careers. Chances are that a number of them are already
working throughout the ranks of your organization. They have
already taken part in your training, maybe even designed parts
of your training, and chances are very good that you already
understand their learning preferences better than you expect.
Another factor to consider is that some of the millennials who
work for you are currently training your other millennials. So
while you think you don't know or understand them at all, you
Key Traits of Younger Millennials
Let's focus on younger working millennials-those born
between about 1990 and 1995. Chances are they are the group
that is causing you to feel the most uncertainty regarding training.
Millennials born between those years are the younger workers
who might be applying for their first "real" post-college jobs with
your organization right now. They're young and fresh-faced. If
you're a generation or two older than they are, it could be that
you've hit some roadblocks when creating training programs that
work well for them.
Although generalizations tend to be flawed, here are some
attitudes that training professionals have found to be shared by
significant members of this cohort.
* An entrepreneurial mindset-They want to stake out a
business identity and space for themselves, even in larger
* Risk tolerance-Many are self-confident, able to take risks, and
willing to help their employers take chances too.
* A love of technology-They tend to be highly mobile and like
to access information and training on smartphones and tablets.