Training Millennials in the Workplace

Designing Digitally


Training Millennials in the Workplace

The majority of today's workforce is made up of millennials, and this number is on the rise. The Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y, is represented by people born in the early 1980s through to the late 1990s. They grew up with rapidly-changing technology. Millennials on the older end of the spectrum may have had Walkman players, while the younger ones probably had iPods.  Either way, everyone in the millennial generation matured during the technology era. As a result, using the internet is second nature.

Millennials are life-long learners, consult Google for answers to most questions, and are huge on self-development. For this reason, the landscape of employee training is changing, with more eLearning and training simulations infiltrating the corporate Learning and Development departments than ever before. The question then arises, what are some great techniques for optimizing employee training for millennials?

What Millennial Learners Want

To answer that question we first need to delve a bit into the psyche of the millennial employee. What keeps them motivated? What helps them become more productive? What type of learning keeps them engaged and coming back for more?

Consider the fact that millennials are more civic-centered. They have a high desire to make the world a better place and that's why this generation has the highest number of active voters in most countries. Their ethnic and racial diversity makes them one of the most open-minded generations to date. They want more equality and advocate higher education for the masses. This is why delivering continuing education to millennial employees is a must.

A mix of technology, social responsibility, workplace equality, and opportunity for personal and professional development are only a few traits of the Y Generation. Developing an L&D culture for your business can mean the difference between failure and success when attempting to keep millennials on board.

Read also: Why the Millennial Workforce Needs Mobile Training

Designing Training for Millennial Employees

  • Keep it Short and Sweet

Due to information being readily available, the speed at which information is relayed online, and the sheer amount of content available, you need to design learning modules to fit millennial learning preferences. This means that your content should offer clear and concise concepts that upon learning, millennials can use their resourceful internet searching skills to go deeper. eLearning for millennials means having control over their own learning experience and not having the patience or the attention span for long, drawn-out, or boring text.

Designing training for millennial employees also has to include a beautiful design. Great design will be greatly appreciated by your millennial staff and helps make learning more engaging for them. Some studies propose that this mentality is caused by the narcissistic and self-entitled attitude this generation comes with. Still, others, paint millennials as the most generous generation and the most likely to change the world for the better. Either way, it's clear that millennial employees appreciate valuable information, efficient delivery methods, and eye-catching design.

  • Provide On-the-Go and Just-in-Time

The beauty of the millennial generation is their close affinity to technology. Most millennial employees are well-versed in modern technology use and will take full advantage of this skill. Providing cross-platform learning modules for millennial learners is a sure-fire way of getting them to learn more efficiently. This helps them retain and recall knowledge more accurately. Thus, a mobile-friendly employee training course is sure to offer loads of benefits for millennial learners.

The on-the-go and just-in-time quality of a cross-platform learning application empower learners to adopt a self-directed learning structure. Employees feel they have a better grasp of their learning curve and can access needed information in their own time and at their own pace.

Read also: The Importance of Anytime Anywhere Learning in the Modern Workplace

  • Invest in your L&D Department

Millennials value creativity. Creativity takes time. A relaxed work and learning environment will go a long way in increasing employee engagement with the training course. Building and redefining your company's learning and development culture assure that employees feel you care about their growth. An evolving educational environment will speak to the needs of millennials, ensure that they are happy in their job, and offers the opportunity for employees to openly learn from each other.

  • Give Relevant Content and Use Emotional Connection

Millennials are very good at scrolling through irrelevant information. When you have information at the tip of your fingers, literally, you get better and better at figuring out which information needs your attention and what can be discarded. Make sure your training modules zero in on key concepts and don't go too far off-topic. Clear and concise learning modules ensure that the learner stays focused and can more easily understand new concepts.

An emotional connection between learner and course content can be established in different ways. One of the most efficient is through personalized learning paths. Your employee training course needs to be flexible and scalable. In addition, superb courses offer students the opportunity for branching scenarios. This means that the application will adapt to learner responses and choices. In turn, learners will more easily establish an emotional connection with the content when they feel it is customized to fit their skill and knowledge level, helping them fill in the gaps.

  • Offer Blended Learning Methods

Blended learning involves learning method diversification and content delivery assortment. You can mix microlearning with mLearning, add a dash of classroom training, and perhaps a pinch of social media learning to create a fun and engaging instructional experience.

  • Include Learning Through Play

And since we've reached the subject of 'fun learning experience', what is more fun than playing? Videogames have a track record of providing this missing element for adult players. Thus, gamification and serious games, or game-based learning, were born. The fact remains that adopting a learning-through-play attitude towards millennial employee training is a definite benefit. 

Read also: How to Leverage Gamification in Millennial Employee Training


Optimizing employee training courses for millennial learners doesn't have to be a struggle. Keep these quick tips in mind and get informed on the latest trends in corporate eLearning. Employee training professionals and instructional designers can make it really easy for you to create the right program for your company and employees. Contact our team if you need any assistance!