7 Tips to Increase Learning Engagement for your Millennial Workforce


Lauren Taylor

Employees ranging in age from 22 to 37, or as they’re more commonly known — Millennials, make up more than half of the current workforce. This is why it's more important than ever to create training that is both engaging and relevant.

Imagine the following scenario…

You’re visiting a new city with a group of friends and are looking for something to do and somewhere tasty to eat. What do you do?

*Spoiler Alert* If you’re a Millennial you may have a different approach than those older than you!

The Traditional Method: You pull out your paper map, call a friend, or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, even ask a local.

The Millennial Method: You whip out your phone and, equipped with your arsenal of the #trending (read latest and greatest) apps, just “Google it.”

It’s very apparent that Millennials have a different approach to gathering information than do other generations. 50% of millennials don’t feel it is necessary to be in a classroom environment in order to learn — in fact, many of them embrace working remotely, which affords them the flexibility and on-demand learning opportunities they desire. Often times, digital on-demand training is simply outdated or not accessible while completing the task at hand.

We’ve all heard the gossip…“Millennials this” & “Millennials that”, but one of the key differences in how this generation learns comes from how they acquire new information. Those older than millennials will most often ask a friend/family member, read the manual, or find someone that has related experience. They seek a more relational & personal approach you could say.

Many millennials would argue they are relational & have personal interaction as well. However, the difference comes with the type of situation. If they are in need of information, they are more likely to be transactional than relational. Which is why for transactional information — they will just Google it. It’s faster, more efficient, and generally more accurate.

What does all this mean? How do we continue to engage this generation in our company?

Here are 7 tips to increase engagement for your millennial workforce:

  1. SME created training

    - When the Subject Matter Experts create the training you end up with higher quality and more accurate training material. The Telephone Game may have been fun in elementary school but is not so fun while learning a new job.

  2. Bite-sized

    - Learning in small chunks has been proven to be more effective. You have probably seen the paper folding exercise where you start with a full piece of paper & then continue to fold it down explaining at different increments this is what they said, this is what you heard, this is what you remember. If we apply this concept — it’s the same thing. Bite-sized learning has a much greater digestion rate than large chunked content.

  3. Quick
    - Being a former teacher, I’ve read all the studies about a kids attention span vs adults. Let me save you some reading… they aren’t that far apart. In 2000, the adult attention span was 12 seconds and here in 2019, we are down to a measly 8 seconds. If we don’t engage our learners in the first 8 seconds, they are already daydreaming.
  4. Accessible
    - The best training does little good if it can’t be easily accessed. How often do we learn a ton while going through training, but then on the job can’t remember when we need to. You have to search all around for it, losing time, momentum, productivity, etc. What if it was accessible in the browser, while you were working in the application via an extension.
  5. Interactive
    - Circling back to short attention spans. Interactive training is more likely to be recalled for two reasons. One is for the engagement factor, learners are much less likely to lose attention if they are interacting. Secondly, interactive learning enhances muscle memory.
  6. Applicable
    - There is nothing worse than enduring training and thinking to yourself… when will I ever need to know this, right? Off the bat, you’ve lost credibility & attention from the learner. Making learning opportunities applicable and tie to daily work is essential for learners to remain engaged in the training.
  7. Up-to-Date
    If you think back to a time when you went through training that was referencing an old version or old process … how likely were you to store away that information in your brain, or take it seriously as something you needed to learn? Probably not very likely. This is the importance of having up-to-date content for your learners. Thankfully with the cloud & auto-save, its easier than ever to have up-to-date material. No more, downloading & uploading new revisions.

All of this to say it makes perfect sense — in order to increase engagement for millennials, use iorad! iorad embodies those 7 tips enabling your organization to create engaging, interactive, up-to-date content with such ease. Better yet, it’s your internal company “Google”! Imagine all the applications that run the company, having the instruction manuals fully searchable right in their browser. Doesn’t get much better, does it? It actually does, but that’s a post for another time. However, I will leave you with one word… LIVE!