7 Reasons Why Baby Boomers Cannot Connect With Your Online Training Course

Why Baby Boomers Cannot Connect With Your Online Training Course

Even though Millennials and younger generations are taking the corporate world by storm, there is still a significant number of baby boomers in the modern workforce. Which means that your L&D strategy must accommodate their online training needs and challenges. But how do you create an all-inclusive, multigenerational online training program that makes mature learners feel right at home? By knowing the obstacles that your baby boomer employees face and avoiding them during the eLearning development process. Here are the top 7 reasons why they cannot connect with your online training course.

1. There’s No Challenge

Lately, we’re beginning to let go of stereotypes about older generations. Yet some online training courses still seem to patronize seniors, offering minimal interaction or opportunities for initiative. The content is massively ‘dumbed down’, so your older corporate learners lose interest. If you’re unsure of how to engage over-fifty-fives, spend some time talking to them. Run a survey on your target demographic. Give them a challenge so that they perform at their peak and venture out of their comfort zone. But don’t test their boundaries so much that they feel alienated from the online training experience.

2. Lack Of Social Interaction

A lot of baby boomers come from the age of analog. Some may even reminisce about times when we actually talked to our neighbors and weren’t glued to screens. While this generation is willing and ready to go online, they need interaction. They need that all-important human connection. To feel like they’re part of an online learning community. Incorporate live chats and group work so older corporate learners can mingle with their peers on screen. Another way to boost social interactivity is to start a closed social media group. This gives them the opportunity to communicate with like-minded peers in a more private setting.

3. The Tech Is Misplaced

When it comes to baby boomer tech, you need to find a happy middle ground. Use the earlier survey to analyze the level of tech required and preferred. Anyone can use a touchscreen, but only if it has an easy navigation path. Some corporate learners may prefer swiping to clicking. Allow them to easily adjust text size or audio volume, preferably without asking for your help. You don’t want them feeling inadequate and dropping out. On the other hand, don’t make the tech so basic that they feel talked-down to. After all, most of them are already familiar with mobile apps.

4. They Can’t See The Practical Value

Baby boomers are driven by purpose. There has to be a practical reason why they’re taking the time to participate in an online training course. This generation is highly pragmatic. Thus, you need to stress the real world value of online training and its benefits. For example, include a checklist at the beginning of the online training course that highlights what they’ll learn, as well as how they can use the information in real life. Who is the online training course intended for? What problems or challenges should they be able to solve by the end? And what are the expectations? Outline all the steps involved and how corporate learners will achieve their goals. For instance, the activities included in the online training course and how long it will take to complete them.

5. The Schedule Is Inconvenient

Flexibility is probably the biggest benefit of online training. Even more so for busy parents or grandparents. Their training needs to fold around their workday. Customize the length and nature of the online training sessions to suit their lifestyle. Bite-sized chunks work best, something they can study for half an hour every day. It could even be something they can do as a group.

6. They Can’t Reach You

Generation gaps aren’t always in our heads. A baby boomer sitting alone with a tablet might have questions. It could be anything from how to log in to the platform to how to customize the dashboard. Some adult learners will be glad to email their online instructors when they encounter an issue. Others will have a hard time asking for help. Offer options for both. Tech support should be easily available by phone, text, or chat. There should also be in-course opportunities for corporate learners to seek answers on their own. Include straightforward glossaries, appendices, and search functions that are easy to navigate and devoid of unnecessary jargon.

7. Fear Of Change

Many baby boomers are comfortable with the traditional training program they’ve grown used to over the years. Thus, they may be reluctant to make the switch to online training. Even if they aren’t afraid of the L&D change, they might still be worried it won’t meet their individual needs or that they don’t have the necessary tech skills to get the full benefit from the online training course. This is why you must put them at ease and give them all the support tools they require. Pair them with a more tech-savvy co-worker or create a microlearning online training library that covers all the basics. From accessing the online training course on their mobile device to troubleshooting common issues. You can also provide them with a detailed overview of the online training course so there aren’t any surprises.

Once a baby boomer makes the decision to actively participate in your online training course, make it easy for them to stay. Give them a challenge instead of oversimplifying. Provide scope for virtual interaction with other corporate learners. Balance the tech to their preferred level and keep the online training content interesting and relevant. Flexibility is paramount. Make sure they can reach your team any time they want to, in any way they prefer. It boosts their confidence and motivates them to achieve their full training potential.

So now you know how to create more effective online training content for Baby Boomers, but what about the other end of the generational spectrum? Read the article 7 Tips To Develop Online Training Courses For Generation Z Workforce to discover 7 tips to develop online training courses for Generation Z employees.

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