Engaging Millennials in Training  

Is training Millennials (people currently aged 18-24) any different than training other employees?  Maybe, maybe not!  It is hard to get a conclusive answer based on the research available;  however, anything that may help the transfer of training is worth considering.

It is well supported that participants tend to learn better when their training is provided in a comfortable environment.  Vinayak Jakati, in his article The Future of Learning – The Young are Restless, states that the research suggests:

“44 percent of young adults sleep with their cell phones and check them at least once during the night. But most trainers ask participants to switch off their cell phones during training hours. It’s unclear if the perceived distraction caused by the presence of mobile phones impedes the learning process more than the anxiety and withdrawal symptoms caused by its absence.”

Click here to read the article.

Imagine if you asked a group of Baby Boomers (people currently aged 50-70) to leave their morning coffee outside of a training session – you would have a potential riot on your hands!  Perhaps asking Millennials to turn off their cell phones during a training session may cause the same kind of reaction.  Why not make them feel comfortable and have them use their technology as part of the session?

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you think different training strategies are needed to engage different generations?
  2. What would you suggest to improve Millennials’ engagement in a traditional WHMIS program?
  3. After reading this article, how would you design your organizations orientation program to engage Millennials?