Top Three Training Techniques to Engage Millennials

Rebecca Alberico
Rebecca Alberico
Top Three Training Techniques to Engage Millennials

Millennials currently represent about 50% of the global workforce, and in the next five years they will come to dominate 75% of it. This generational shift means we need to come up with innovative ways to train our workforce to upskill and reskill those set to take over.

So, what exactly are millennials looking for? Their needs differ vastly from those of Baby Boomers and Gen X. What will keep them motivated to continue to build on their skillset?

Creating exciting, dynamic learning plans for millennial learners requires careful thought and consideration. Captivating learning involves more than animations, infographics, and flashy effects.

Millennials grew up with digital technology, they’ve seen it all, and it’s increasingly hard to give them something fresh and attention-grabbing. Here are three training techniques to keep them engaged:

1. Gamification

Why does gamification work? It’s simple. Each time the learner reaches a new achievement level, they feel a rush of excitement and pleasure — think points, levels, badges, and leaderboards.

Thanks to gamification, the learner’s brain gets the message that the learning they just did is worth pursuing for more than just the sake of completing an eLearning course.

What’s happening in the brain and body is the release of various feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. Think of it like a runner’s high. The gamification of eLearning creates positive associations with learning and compliance training, as learners are rewarded along the way.

2. Microlearning

Let’s face it. Gone are the days of long classroom training or eLearning modules. The current generation is used to bite-sized content that they can walk through at their own pace, in the corners of their time.

Microlearning reduces seat time while decreasing time to on-the-job application. When bite-sized learning content is easily accessible and digestible, learners can take it on in their own time, at their own pace.

In this approach, each piece of content generally addresses only 1-2 learning objectives, as opposed to the 5 or 6 typical of a standard hour-long module. Typically, microlearning vignettes don’t exceed 10-minute lessons — and even that is sometimes pushing it.

According to the findings of a survey on Learning and Development professionals, 94% of those surveyed said that they prefer microlearning to traditional eLearning courses because their learners prefer it.

Taking a microlearning approach can also help reduce overall seat time, keeping learners on the job and in the flow of their work much better than traditional learning modalities – saving the business money.

By breaking learning up into smaller pieces, there’s also more room for targeted application that helps differentiate and highlight key concepts better than leaving learners with a wall of text.

3. Activity-based Learning

As a generation, millennials are already inundated with various digital media competing for their attention, and many have had too much of it. ELearning often doesn’t hit home the way it used to, even if interactive or gamified elements are used to their full effect.

People learn by doing, and millennials are no different. It’s a principle that we’ve held dear in the L&D industry for a long time, but in many cases, it can be hard to implement.

By taking an activity-based approach, you can help your people engage with others and learn where we know they do so the best — on the job.

According to the 70/20/10 model of learning, 70% of learning happens in job-related experiences. It only makes sense to invest most of our efforts to maximize learning in the flow of work.

On-the-job activity-based learning also opens a whole new world where proving the ROI of your efforts is within reach. By tacking activities onto existing learning programs and running A/B tests, you can prove with high confidence where the true impacts and value lie.

It is also simple to implement as this approach can be seamlessly overlaid on top of formal training to help reinforce key skills and practices in the flow of learners’ work.

This way, learning is not left behind in the classroom, and learners have actionable takeaways that help them implement the valuable theory you have already given them.

Interested in how companies like Purolator, Cummins, Sandals, and Softchoice are implementing these types of approaches and proving ROI?

Contact us today to start the conversation.