The only thing worse than leading a "bonding" staff meeting is leading one for millenials.
According to Beth N. Carvin,CEO of Nobscot, with each sigh and eye roll, managers feel defeated by this hipster, always on the move, generation. Fortunately, there are training solutions out there that truly appeal to this generation.
The key to engaging millennials in training is understanding this generation’s learning style and developing a new approach to fit it. Here are some tips:
- Focus on experiential training that features activities and games. Millennials were raised by parents who got them involved in endless activities throughout their childhood and adolescence. They enjoy competitions and games, so tap into that by using training games, rather than “boring” classroom training or lectures.
- Use multiple, short training sessions. For a variety of reasons – blame television, Internet, video games, etc. - most millennials have short attention spans. Therefore, managers should break up long training days with short activities and sessions that are both creative and entertaining. With these types of activities, you’ll grab their attention and keep it.
- Tap into group and team activities.Millennials are true “team players,” and they generally work very well with others. They also enjoy learning in this manner, so use training exercises that break down the team into small groups.
- Use training to bridge the gap between different generations.Team building games can help the different generations in the workplace come together so they can truly learn to appreciate each other’s strengths. Millennials can learn from older generations who have more life and professional experience, and Gen X and Baby Boomers will have the opportunity to see that their millennial co-workers have a lot to offer if you allow them to work together in group training exercises.
- Make training objectives very clear. Training can focus on a wide variety of skill sets – communication, customer service, negotiation, time management, etc. Millennials do not want to just “go through the motions” when it comes to training. They truly want to learn and be able to apply what they’ve learned in their jobs. Use training exercises and activities that clearly demonstrate the set objectives and that include discussions about lessons learned at the end of the exercise.