A professor can give the most fascinating and thought-provoking lecture, but unless he/she is speaking the same language as his/her listeners, that lecture is unfortunately going to go to waste. Are you speaking the same language as your workforce? Make sure the language you speak is the one your listeners can understand. You’re listeners are increasingly people who belong to Generation Y – Millennials (and very soon, the up-and-coming Generation Z).
Millennials are a tech-savvy generation, who live and breathe connectivity. They expect a seamless online experience where information is immediately at their fingertips. Millennials interact with processes and tools differently than the generation before them, the Bloomer generation. They have different communication habits and user habits. They think differently and, as a result, they learn differently.
Considering this, employers have been grappling with how to alter training programs to better fit the Millennial way of thinking.
“One of the biggest challenges senior sales leaders face is how to onboard and train Millennials. This is particularly true for more established sales organizations who have used traditional classroom-based sales training programs as their primary method for training new sales hires” (SalesReadinessGroup.com).
Redefining the Training Landscape — Digital Solutions and Visual Stimuli
There has been a major shift in training methods since the Boomer generation. Most millennials prefer to learn through visual stimuli (and generally, information is more easily absorbed through infographics and presentations) and through web-based training. As a result, online training or e-learning is becoming the new standard – typically using online tutorials and webinars. Many experts agree that e-learning is here to stay, not only because it appeals more to the younger generation but also because it is more cost-effective than classroom-based training. An increasing number of organizations are adopting these simple solutions. According to Jeff Cobb, the Managing Director for Tagoras, “nearly 90% of the organizations we surveyed said they are using e-learning to deliver education or plan to within the coming 12 months.”
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Leverage Online Guidance Systems, Similar to GPS Devices
Maps are passé. Millennials utilize GPS devices to provide them with step-by-step instructions in real time on how to get to new locations. Millennials have become accustomated to being guided by virtual guidance systems and become very uncomfortable when they have to navigate on their own.
Play to this strength by utilizing virtual guidance systems, much like GPS devices, in employee training programs. Real-time guidance technologies embedded in their CRM systems keep Millennials in their “comfort zone”. These technologies have matured in the past couple of years and are becoming more powerful. Some even provide contextual step-by-step guidance; provide personalized instructions and navigation tips to the user.
Monitor Progress and Give Feedback
Monitoring training progress through online apps is an effective way to gauge how far employees have come and highlight areas in need of improvement. Such an app can identify process “choke points” that affect performance (and may in fact be systems issues unrelated to the user).