5 Steps To Building Effective Personalized Learning Experiences For Your Millennial Workforce

5 Steps To Building Effective Personalized Learning Experiences For Your Millennial Workforce
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Summary: The best employee training programs have been proven to attract new talent, improve retention, boost productivity, and increase revenue. But many times, training programs can fall short of expectations. One of the most common reasons for this is that the training strategy that was used was not ideal for engaging Millennials, who now make up more than half of the current workforce.

Learning Experiences Are More Powerful With A Personalized Learning Strategy

It's no secret that effective employee training programs can have a significant impact on the success of your business. Most L&D professionals also know how important employee engagement is today. However, many organizations are unaware of how they can leverage personalized learning programs to engage the generation that is currently the largest part of the workforce, Millennials.

Personalized Learning Experiences: Gearing Up For The Millennial Workforce
Discover new approaches to better engage employees and prepare for the future of work.

The best employee training programs have been proven to attract new talent, improve retention, boost productivity and increase revenue. In fact, companies who invest in Learning and Development can have as much as 24% larger profit margins than organizations that don't [1].

Unfortunately, simply having a program in place is not enough. Recent research suggests that companies are wasting millions on ineffective training programs every year. More specifically, US companies waste up to $13.5 million per 1,000 employees a year on ineffective training and development programs.

There are many reasons training programs fall short of expectations. However, one of the most common reasons is that the training strategy that was used was not ideal for engaging Millennials, who now make up more than half of the current workforce.

The millennial generation is the least engaged group of employees today. According to Gallup's study on how Millennials want to live and work, more than 50% of this generation is disengaged [2]. Much of this is due to the Millennials' unique learning needs.

The Millennial Learner

There are some key factors that impact the learning preferences of the millennial generation. This generation grew up with Google, which makes them comfortable with technology but also less impressed by sheer amounts of information. Millennials will lose interest in learning content if they feel it is not relevant to them.

Millennials are highly social and this should be taken into consideration when building learning experiences. Millennial employees tend to prefer flexible work environments, which means they are often working in distributed teams or in different locations. This means training must be suitable for remote employees.

Taking a personalized approach to Learning and Development can help your organization engage all its employees through effective training, including Millennials. There are 5 steps you can take when developing a personalized learning program to improve engagement.

1. Utilize Blended Learning

Millennials as well as the rest of your employees have different learning styles and preferences. This is one of the toughest challenges L&D professionals face when it comes to engagement. One employee may learn best by working through simulations while another may prefer video content.

If you take a blended approach and provide a wide variety of content in different formats, employees can then engage with learning materials in a way that works best for them.

2. Make Data-Informed Decisions With AI And Learning Analytics

AI and learning analytics can provide key insights that can be useful when developing learning plans for individual students. These online learning programs usually begin with a competency-based assessment. This information is gathered and analyzed by advanced analytics. Then AI processes this information to predict user behavior and needs in order to create an individualized learning plan for the learner.

Millennials are only interested in information that is both relevant and useful. Personalized learning environments that are generated by AI ensure that they are only taking courses that are most relevant to them and their career path.

3. Incorporate Self-Directed Elements

The millennial generation does well when they can take ownership of their learning experience. One way this can be done in a personalized program is by offering suggested content.

AI can use information about the learner to make suggestions about learning content. This works similarly to the way Netflix makes suggestions about movies you might like. Personalized training programs can offer suggested learning content tailored to individual learners.

4. Build Social Engagement

Millennials are a highly social generation. Be sure to include social elements in your training program. This could be anything from social learning activities such as gamification, a forum where learners can contribute, or project-based learning with small groups.

The learning process can go beyond digital content. The idea is that the program is engaging and providing flexible learning opportunities.

5. Measure Results

Measuring the results of your training program is an essential step. This isn't millennial-specific but is an important step for any training program. Measuring the effectiveness of your training program will give you insights into the ROI of the program and the Learner Experience.

Measurement gives you an opportunity to find what is working well and what can be improved upon. Learning analytics can be used for the measurement process and you can also conduct surveys to gauge how employees feel about the training program. Measurement ensures that you are optimizing training and getting the most out of your investment.


Developing engaging learning experiences that meet the needs of the millennial generation is good for business. Millennials are already the largest part of the current workforce and are only expected to expand in the next several years. Companies with engaged employees outperform organizations who do not by 202%. This is one of the many reasons why personalized learning is a strategy that is growing and becoming increasingly popular.

Personalized learning experiences engage learners by removing barriers by presenting content in a way that best suits individual learner needs. Millennials want more training at work, but they also want choice. They are interested in digital content, but they also learn well socially. They like instant feedback and lose interest quickly when they find information to be irrelevant.

Millennials also need training that fits their flexible schedule. Many employees work remotely, some teams live in different locations and time zones.

Personalized learning programs can meet these needs as well as the needs of the other generations of employees in your workforce. To get the best results from your training program use a blended learning strategy, use AI and analytics to create personalized learning paths, include social elements, and measure your results. To learn more about personalized learning, check out the eBook Personalized Learning Experiences: Gearing Up For The Millennial Workforce.


[1] Profiting From Learning: Do Firms’ Investments in Education and Training Pay Off?

[2] How Millennials Want to Work and Live