Why Should L&D Professionals Care About Millennials

Designing Digitally



According to a Pew Research study, millennials are self-directed learners and employees. They are the first generation that has been born into technology and therefore use it for almost all the tasks in their daily life. Now with the baby boomers retiring from the workforce, the millennials are taking over rapidly. If you want to stay ahead of competitors, you need to invest in transitioning with the new workforce.

Why should your L&D department care about the millennials?

By 2025, millennials are expected to become the largest workforce in the United States as well as all over the world. They are expected to constitute almost 75% of the workforce. They will be everywhere. If you wish to survive and grow, you need them. So, there is no way you can ignore them if you want them to remain skilled and contribute to the growth of your organization.

Millennials want inclusion and involvement. If they are not involved with the strategic vision of the company, then they will simply leave. They want to be heard and they need to feel that their opinion matters. They strive to add value to the organization and get noticed. Millennials are unlike their predecessors. They have diverse learning preferences. They are the ones that will work for you in the future. So, it is important to listen to their needs and create millennial-friendly training.

Here are some traits of millennial learners. For best results,  influence your learning design strategy to cater to these traits.

  • They are tech-savvy. They prefer staying online most of the time. So, that means that you cannot get away by offering content with just snazzy digital effects. They are used to glitzy content and only meaningful learning experiences will win them over. If you want them to stay invested in your course you must convince them of the relevance of the content. Otherwise, they will lose interest very quick.
  • They are accustomed to communicating on social networks. They do not like one-way communication, which means that your course must include plenty of opportunities for collaboration. It has to be interactive.
  • They are always connected to the Internet. They expect to be able to access information anytime and all the time without any time-zone or geographical restrictions. Similarly, they would expect to access learning content at the point-of-need without having to be physically present at a training venue. So, you need to invest in creating mobile elearning that is responsive.
  • They have limited attention span. They are experts at multitasking. They have distributed attention on all the tasks at hand. If you are vying for a part of their focus then you must pitch bite-sized learning nuggets at them. Each nugget will focus on one idea. Use simple language and relevant images. In fact, you can use other formats like videos, podcasts, short games, and so on, but make sure that you do not cram too much information into a single nugget.
  • They are goal-centric. They will learn something only when they need it, so you must let them decide their learning path. You can structure your learning based on different levels of difficulty and let them choose what they want. That way, they will stay invested in the course since they are taking it up by choice.
  • They love games as they have grown up in that culture. Nintendo, PlayStations, Xbox were a rage when they were growing up. They would rather become Superman and bash up the villains in a virtual environment instead of watching it on the silver screen. If you gamify their learning experience then half the battle is won. Weave in rewards, badges, leaderboards, and so on and watch them get hooked. Pepper in some friendly peer competition activities and you have got them. Just make sure that the motivation is more intrinsic than extrinsic.
  • They are used to receiving personalized attention and instant feedback. So, the elearning courses should follow the same path. It should provide information on their progress – how far they have reached, how many goals have they met, and so on. Throughout the course, they expect to receive feedback on how they are doing.

Designing Digitally, Inc. creates custom online learning experiences that will allow millennials to flourish. Contact our team today to determine which training solution is best for your organization.