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Onboarding of Millennials – New Ways of Training

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Onboarding of Millennials - New ways of training

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Millennials will make up to 50 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2020″ and a survey conducted by the consulting firm Millennial Branding and online career network beyond.com in 2013 shared that “30% of companies surveyed lost 15 % or more of their millennial employees in 2012″.

Most of the respondents shared that millennials leave the company, because they don’t consider it to be a good cultural fit.

Does this have anything to do with your Onboarding Training?

Yes, the first impression, a new hire gets of an organization is extremely important and usually the new comers experience the organization’s culture through Onboarding Training.

So with this younger generation entering into the workforce, it has become imperative for organizations to understand their learning preferences and offer training in ways that appeal to them. It’s time now to rethink beyond the traditional Onboarding training programs and come up with news ways of training.

Here are a few thoughts that can help you to rethink on your Onboarding Programs

Offer Game Based Training:

The millennials look for effective and interactive experiences that can motivate and engage them in their learning process. Gamification is an emerging discipline that allows learners to explore, learn and receive feedback on their performance immediately, in terms of scores or rewards.

For onboarding courses, we can divide the information into small chunks; design Levels or milestones to be achieved with games. You can also assign timelines for completion and have certificates as rewards for quick learners.

This sort of a strategy, just by tweaking your eLearning courses that you are currently doing can help new hires quickly acquire knowledge and become productive.

A Gartner report predicts that by 2014, 70% of the organizations in global 2000 businesses will have at least one gamified application.

Consider Online Learning Communities

As we know, New hires gain knowledge (up to 70%) from informal means, through peer to peer interactions or by talking to experts and only a 30% is gained on the job and through formal trainings. So wouldn’t it be great, if we can formalize this informal means of learning?

Online Learning Communities provide a range of networking opportunities, facilitating interaction between peers of common interests or domains. A knowledgeable co-worker can be a great trainer for the new hires, bridging the Induction training gaps.

These communities also allow the newcomers to instantly get access to right resources and their trainers or seniors, to seek guidance, strengthening a collaborative culture and thereby helping your new Hires to acclimatize to their new role.

In 2008, E-Learning Guild’s Annual Gathering, Sun Microsystems presented a case study (Carson, 2008) of their experimental online networked learning platform that proved successful for training new hires.

Think of internal Social Networking

Millennials, the new wave of learners are already accustomed to using social tools to manage their personal life. They grew up surfing the web and accessing information in the form of articles, videos, games and using Facebook, Twitter etc. to stay connected with others.

So it will easier for them to know more and understand your organization through interacting with the existing employees, using social tools or reading your blogs etc. Of course keeping the security aspects in mind, you can think of having your own Facebook team or leverage other social tools to support internal networking.

These social tools can help your new comers to build a relationship with their superiors or coworkers and become more comfortable working with the team.

In 2012, Harvard Business Review surveyed 2,100 companies and found that 79 percent of them have already been using or plan to use social media in the coming years.

Look at Mobile Learning

Millennials also referred to as “screenagers” are more used to screen learning (mobile learning), rather than books. They prefer multiple platforms like tablet or Mobile Phone, which they have already been using for learning.

They don’t show sufficient interest in classroom sessions or long duration eLearning courses, which require attention for hours. Instead choose small byte sized learning modules, which can be accessed exactly when needed. That said it is as true that mLearning cannot completely replace elearning or classroom trainings.

Towards Maturity Benchmark Study 2012-2013 stated that “Organizations using mobile devices for employee learning have reported more staff learning and business benefits, than those who did not adopt”.

So a well-designed mLearning experience that covers only the key messages or topics can be offered complementing your other trainings methodologies.

The needs of Millennials are transforming the ways of training! What do you think? Do share your thoughts. Would love to hear from you!

View Presentation on Checklist for New Employee Induction Program

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