How to engage millennials to maximise learning & development

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How to engage millennials to maximise learning & development

The millennial generation, born between 1980 and 2000 who are now entering employment in vast numbers, will shape the world of work for years to come. Attracting and retaining the best of these millennial workers is critical to the future of your business.

Five essentials you should employ to successfully engage Millennials in L&D:

1. Provide a great learning experience or you risk losing your talent!

For many Millennials, professional development goes hand in hand with engagement. A recent Forbes study identifies that Millennial employees want training and development even more than they desire flexible working hours. If they don’t find their work meaningful they’ll be out the door before the kettles even boiled!

They’re hungry for knowledge and they want to experience as much training as possible. Organizations need to provide this to them by building effective training programs, which are not only engaging, but the effectiveness of which can also be measured. Mentoring programs are also a valuable part of training, to keep the audience motivated and inspired.

2. Go digital, get results!

Digital learning is crucial in order to capture the attention and engage more millennials in the corporate learning process. This generation has grown up in a self-directed learning environment and wants flexible options. With the increase in remote working – training needs to ensure that distributed and remote workforce is not ignored.

To drive engagement, participation and completion rates you should look to incorporate the following elements:

  • Micro learning – bite sized learning in short bursts to encourage retention of key learnings
  • Gamification – add a competitive element to encourage participation
  • Social Learning – incorporate collaborative, sharing and forum style elements so people can learn from each other
  • Self-paced and in own time – for example the ability to learn off line during commuter time to allow learners to learn when and where works best for them
  • UI & UX is crucial – If the online learning environment isn’t up to scratch attention and enthusiasm will plummet.
  • Give context – content needs to be carefully crafted, and the way the training is relevant to the millennials development must be explained well.

3. Treat employees as individuals

Allow Millennials to identify which strengths they’d like to optimize and which areas for growth they’d like to improve – give them choice and find something they will be passionate about. It’s important to treat millennials as individuals, especially during the goal setting and performance appraisal process. When employees feel that they are valued as unique individuals, and not merely another one of the masses, they will grow more engaged and loyal

4. Feedback, feedback and more feedback

The biggest reason for disengagement amongst millennials is the lack of feedback from their managers. Regular meetings, along with frequent feedback can lead to more engagement, enhanced productivity and better retention levels.

Employee training programs should have assessments, or practical application tests of what has been learned. The performance should be tracked and feedback given accordingly by the relevant managers. This will not only foster an increase in interest among the workforce, but also help them understand what they need to work upon, and feel wanted and genuinely cared for by their management.

5. Emergent thinking for the Future of L&D

The world of work is changing rapidly with digital, big data & innovation transforming how, where and why we work.

With a huge amount of learning now accessible online at a time and place that’s convenient to the learner most employers are shifting their focus to mindset and behaviours to compliment the specific skills training that is readily accessible.

The entrepreneurial mindset is the set of attitudes, skills and behaviours that young people need to succeed academically, personally and professionally in the 21st century. It includes subject areas such as creative thinking, risk taking tolerance, emotional intelligence and opportunity recognition. If this is a mindset that could help drive innovation, growth and employee satisfaction within your organisation please drop us a line to find out more. Enploy identify, teach, measure and reward entrepreneurial skills & behaviours. Through our proprietary diagnostic tools and online learning and development platform, we enable young adults and employers to build entrepreneurial skills and behaviours that drive success.

For more information:


Twitter: @EnployTalent

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