4 Easy Equations to Better Understand Millennials' Training Needs

Millennials are often considered entitled, lazy, and everything in between. Not a very good stereotype to try and enter the workforce with. People ask if they are ready for the workforce because they are generally assumed to be lackadaisical when it involves responsibility. The real question, however, is whether the workforce is ready for the Millennials. The twenty-somethings entering (or already in) the office are more apt to quit a job if it’s not everything they hoped for or everything the recruiter said it would be. However, training Millennials properly can save your company the heartache of seeing them go.

1. Understanding the meaning of “success” in the eyes of a Millennial

They are unlike generations that precede them. Millennials appreciate the value of a good day’s work, and they don’t necessarily expect the value to be reciprocated monetarily. They are the most civic-minded generation since their great grandparents, or the Greatest Generation, with a total of 1 billion hours accrued by Millennials alone in 2008. So keeping that in mind, how does an organization reward an employee who doesn’t want the typical prize? Although recent graduates are often strapped for cash, they value the “can-do” attitude and a positive self-image over tangible awards.

Intrinsic rewards > Extrinsic rewards 

2. These are not the training programs they’re looking for…

Textbooks, manuals, words… Millennials simply aren’t attuned to this kind of training. They are a highly technology-savvy generation, with a preference to work in teams. So, training them might seem a bit more involved and complicated. Gamification takes the guesswork out of the equation for those managing the twenty-somethings entering the workforce. If a well-trained employee isn’t enough to transition your training program to something a bit more interactive, maybe a turnover reduction of 36% is.

Take advantage of their tech literacy since they innately know how to use everything with a screen. In fact, 81% of Millennials have a smartphone. Training programs that incorporate tablets, smartphones, or up-and-coming technology are more apt to maintain the engagement of an increasingly mobile generation.

Technology + Training + Millennials = Targeted Training Program

3. Two Millennials are better than one

There is no “I” in teamwork… cliché as it may be, it’s true for the working Millennials. They prefer to work in teams, and bounce ideas off of each other. Besides the fact they enjoy working together better than alone, 62% of Millennials honestly believe it makes a great deal of difference in the quality of their work. Teamwork is the key to creating an effective training program for Millennials in the workplace. 

Johnson & Johnson promotes teamwork in a different way. They encourage supervisors and managers to take 12-minute breaks instead of their typical lunch hour. What they do with these 12-minute breaks throughout the day is unique. The company asks managers to take this time and talk with new employees. In this time, they can give Millennials insights and Millennials can do the same. 

Millennial x (Millennial + Mentor) = Higher Quality Work 

4. If they work hard, let them play harder… at work.

Recruiters aren’t too excited about hiring Millennials as 68% of them find it hard to manage the twenty-somethings. The reason it is so difficult: they simply don’t know how to manage them, much less train them. Millennials don’t want to see a paycheck that has 60 hours of work they didn’t work for. They need a challenge; they crave a challenge. Millennials need change, challenge, and chance in the workplace in order to perform at their best. Foster their quest for curiosity in the office by initiating a training program that caters the generation’s inquisitiveness.

Traditional Training Material ÷ (Curiosity + Challenge) = Engaged Trainees

Understanding that Millennials require a different system of rewards is the first step in transitioning your training program to their needs. A higher score and little bit of friendly competition in the office lasts longer than the cash padding their wallets. They know the value of teamwork and opinions other than their own. So, they greatly benefit from mentor programs. Millennials aren’t hard to train, they just need a different training program than their parents and grandparents.

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photo credit: pixbymaia via photopin cc

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Tags: Corporate Recruiting, Employee Training, Human Resources, Recruiting Tools / Sourcing, Training Programs

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