How to Keep Your Millennial Employees Engaged

Millennials engaged with eLearning using devices

With higher job turnover and less loyalty than previous generations, millennials can be a difficult cohort to engage in the workplace, particularly for more ‘traditional’ businesses. So what are they really seeking? Purpose and development, reports suggest. In fact, KPCB’s 2015 Internet Trends Report revealed most millennials consider training and development opportunities the most valuable working benefit.

As the generation that will make up over 75% of the workforce by 2025, it might be time to start listening, particularly when training and development is one of the most cost-effective and rewarding outcomes you can develop for your staff. Here are five ways to build a robust teaching culture, decrease turnover amongst millennials and keep your millennial employees engaged.

Create a culture of teaching

By building a culture of teaching and embedding it into the employee experience - from onboarding to offboarding - you’re demonstrating an emphasis on upskilling and developing every employee. For the millennial demographic who are looking to belong, lead and shape things, this empowerment and involvement is crucial. A teaching culture can be as unique as your business; Google’s renowned ‘Googler to Googler’ program sees their team members teach other employees skills from public speaking to kickboxing, while at OverDrive employees are set up with their own internal Professional Growth Planner to drive their opportunities for learning and development.  

Take it online

Millennials do everything online, so learning should be no different. With millennials expressing a desire to pursue specialist areas in their work, this provides a great opportunity to acknowledge and engage their development in an area of interest at a low cost to your business. As millennials are the most tech-comfortable generation in the workforce, they will fully appreciate the advantages of elearning. By providing your staff with learning material available anytime and anywhere, you’re demonstrating a passion in their personal development.

Encourage microlearning

Staff training no longer needs to come at the cost of days spent out of the office. In fact, as the human attention span has dropped increasingly since 2000, you’re better off adapting to the new ways we absorb information, specifically in digital environments. Consider delivering some form of ongoing training in bite-sized pieces to enable employees to learn in short spurts on a recurring basis. This process, known as microlearning, encourages employees to engage in their own time and consume training as it suits them - and it also saves you resources.

Develop employee-led training programs

You probably haven’t heard of an American fast-food chain called Pal’s Sudden Service, but in the USA it’s notable for holding an incredibly low turnover from its national workforce - including 40% who are between the ages of 16 and 18. The reason? Staff training. All leaders in the business are expected to spend 10% of their time teaching others, creating a formalized teaching culture throughout the business. By delivering training and development employee to employee you’re empowering everyone to share leadership and coaching roles in the business.

Don’t forget the essentials

I hope by now you’re excited by the possibilities that training offers for individual development, company culture and resource management. As well as your ongoing staff training and skills development, it’s also important to make sure you run compliance training for new and existing employees. Keep it easy by providing it online using an online training platform like CourseGenius, where you can draw upon a library of pre-built online compliance courses for your employees or even create your own custom online training.

Are you ready to start engaging your millennials with eLearning? Sign up for free trial of CourseGenius.

This article was originally published in Inside Small Business on 4 January 2017.

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