The younger workforce – Gen Y and Gen Z – has different aspirations and expectations from their employers. They expect work-life balance, flexibility in work, mentorship, training for career progression, and a sense of purpose in what they are doing. If they don’t find this in their current employer, they are likely to move on. According to the 2016 Deloitte Millennial Survey, 44% of Millennials are likely to quit their current employer and join a new organization by 2020 – largely due to a lack of these opportunities.
One of the ways you can engage better with your Millennial workforce is by providing training opportunities that work for them. A training that is flexible, customized, and addresses their individual learning appetites.
Here are some training ideas that might work to help engage and retain the new generation workforce.
1. Provide autonomy & freedom to access training anytime
Today’s generation is used to instant information, thanks to the Internet. What you need to provide is access to training anywhere, anytime – i.e., from any device. With online training options, employees will enjoy the autonomy and freedom to access training anytime. Not just that, it also allows you to update the knowledge or skills of the employees – be it knowledge of a new process, safety mechanism, product, and so on – quickly with less turnaround time.
2. Customize training based on the target audience
You need to develop training keeping in mind the varied needs of employees. For example, if you are developing a product training, you can create multiple versions of the training to suit sales people, service engineers, channel partners, or customers, based on their learning needs. You can prepare multiple modules, each one catering to a single learning objective. These modules can be collated and assigned based on the target audience. For example, the training curriculum for customers need not have a module talking about customer objections. Similarly, sales people can be spared the detailed product assembly, installation, and service module, which caters specifically to service engineers. The bottom line is, when online options are chosen, you can customize the training based on the needs of the audience.
3. Provide multiple learning paths
Employees come with varying skills and knowledge levels. Some may be new and need to learn things from scratch while others might be experienced and require only a refresher training. Instead of forcing everyone to sit through a single class, it would be more learner-friendly to have multiple options where experienced learners can jump directly to the advanced level, while novices go through the basics. This option can be easily exercised when devising an online training program. The course can be divided into basic, intermediate and advanced, and employees can test out of a level to go to the next level.
4. Show transparency in terms of certification and advancement
Since every move is recorded and captured by the system, there is no scope for favoritism. Some courses such as compliance or safety require employees to go through all modules and this can be made possible easily through online learning. Only when employees complete all the modules and assessments, they will get certified. Similarly, they can advance to next level of the course on completion of the previous levels. Career progression and advancement can be tied to the completion of stipulated trainings.
5. Create collaborative learning experiences to interact with peers globally
The younger generation use social media tools and collaborate seamlessly to share and exchange ideas and find solutions. You can provide the same environment within the organization to increase productivity. Employees can seek mentorship, exchange ideas, and solve each other’s problems. They will have the opportunity to interact and engage with SMEs who may otherwise be inaccessible to them. After all, Millennials are said to be more of team players than their predecessors.
With changing business requirements, organizations have to adopt a more proactive approach and offer training solutions that resonate better with employees. Technology can be a viable partner in this process as it provides a multitude of options in packaging knowledge solutions that address varying training needs.
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