6 Ways Millennials Are Raising The eLearning Industry

How Millennials Are Raising The eLearning Industry

The generation born between the 1980s and 2000s are busy disrupting the world around them. From schools to marketing to schools, Millennials have demanded that the world change to suit them, and they exist in numbers to make it happen. One of the most recent areas that Millennials are turning on its head is that of eLearning. Many corporations turn to eLearning to implement training programs, offer extended learning opportunities for employees, and make sure that new learning modules are available when they are completed. But what does eLearning look like for Millennials, and how can companies make sure that they’re offering the right training programs to these new workers? Here are 6 ways in which Millennials are raising the eLearning industry.

1. Tech-Savvy

Millennials are often called the first generation of “digital natives”. Millennials often grew up with a home computer, went online as preteens, and got their first cellphone in high school or college. They are very comfortable with digital tools and know how to make technology work for them.

They aren’t satisfied with traditional methods of learning; a two-hour lecture is going to bore them, and not get very good results. Companies that create training programs targeting this tech savvy group will be thankful for it in the long run.

2. Excited For On-The-Job Learning

Whereas other generational groups might have been willing to work the same job for years until they retire, Millennials tend to switch from one job to another fairly rapidly. They expect to learn at every job they have, and will often take a particular position so that they can learn from the boss at that job, rather than worrying about the company in particular.

One way companies can benefit from this is to focus on and offer exceptional on-the-job learning opportunities. Whether creating corporation-wide distance learning opportunities, or funding continuing online education for workers, companies that help their employees learn are going to retain those employees for longer.

This can be especially important for companies that encourage their employees to move to big cities. By offsetting the cost of living with additional training, companies can help employees feel like they’re getting a good deal.

3. Expect To Understand Why

Millennials were raised to expect to understand why they were doing something, and have been discouraged from blindly follow leadership. The best training programs for Millennials will help them address the ins and outs of why they are doing something at work.

Research has shown that employees who understand why a task is being completed are more likely to retain the training and complete it accurately than those who are told to just do it the way they were instructed.

4. Break Away From “Computer” Training

When the older generation thinks of eLearning, they may imagine multiple choice questions presented on a computer screen. While that certainly could be an aspect of an eLearning program, Millennials have something different in mind.

They tend to be looking for multimedia presentations that are interactive and engaging. That doesn’t mean they have to be flashy; it does mean they should be more involved than a series of PowerPoint slides put into a YouTube video.

5. Embrace Microlearning

Millennials are often blamed for having a short attention span, although some research indicates they have an average attention span but are more likely to let people know when they’re bored, instead of just mentally drifting and disregarding what’s going on.

To combat attention drift, design your training with short microlearning bursts. Change activities or presentations frequently, while building breaks into the training schedule, to keep the muscles active and the brain engaged.

6. Love Gamification

From our Fitbits to our Pokemon Go scores, our society loves rewards. Millennials, in particular, have embraced digital rewards, especially when they are presented as “gamification”. Gamification takes an ordinary task –such as walking– and makes it into a game. The little stick figure cheering on your wrist when you hit your step goal, or the enjoyment at finally catching a Pikachu, are examples of gamifying walking.

Final Thoughts

While some older members of the workforce might sneer at the effort, offering rewards for successfully completing parts of training can help Millennials –and other trainees– stay engaged and interested in the eLearning process, improving retention and reducing retraining times.

Overall, Millennials seem to be busy disrupting the workplace, just like they have disrupted the entertainment, music, and book industries in the past few years. Successful companies will continue to discover how to work with this generation, which will make up the majority of the workforce in many countries by 2020.

How do you see that Millennials are raising the eLearning industry?

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