How to Train Millennials in the Workplace

Did you know, the attention span of the average human is only eight seconds? According to a study from Microsoft Corp., our attentions spans dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to only eight in 2013.

What does this mean for those of you training the new workforce? This means you are dealing with employees who have the shortest attention span in recorded history, and finding ways to cater to their learning styles is essential.

Last week I conducted a survey about the types of training techniques employers used. Employees all between the ages of 18 to 35 answered which training methods they preferred. Out of all the categories listed, One-on-one training was favored and was also the type of training method employers were using the most.

When I asked if employers were catering to employee’s individual learning styles 67 percent agreed, while 13 percent disagreed, and the rest felt neutral about the subject.

The last on the list of favored training methods were paper manuals, and static videos. Employers must be mindful of the types of training methods available, take advantage of those that work, and throw away the ones that don’t!

If you are going to use videos as a training tool, keep them interactive, short, and straight to the point. Smart Data Collective provides tips for employers looking to to train new-hires virtually. These tips aren’t just helpful for virtual training, but for in-house training of employees who don’t have the attention span that you hoped for.

It is important to consider the type of world millennials live in. According to a study led by Nottingham Trent University, the average smartphone user spends five hours a day looking at some type of screen. Millennials have a need for constant stimulation, they are checking e-mails, making phone calls, checking social media sites, all while listening to music.

As employers, one must consider the over stimulation ignited in the outside world and realize that in order to have engaged employees, the workplace must adapt and change with the minds that inhabit the space.


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