A Guide to Effective Millennial Leadership Training
Millennials, long referred to as the nation’s avocado-toast eaters and destroyers of various markets, are going to have a new collective title soon: America’s business leaders. That’s right—the oldest millennials in 2019 are 38 years old, which is a prime age for fledgling leaders. By 2025, they will account for 75% of the workforce.
Millennials are well aware of this, too: 69% percent aspire to be leaders in the next five years and 60% want training to develop their leadership skills. However, businesses are struggling to help cultivate millennials’ leadership qualities.
HR executives consider talent development the second biggest challenge facing them today, even though companies spend more than $130 billion each year on it. Despite this investment, 71% percent of millennials who are likely to leave their place of work in two years are dissatisfied with how their leadership skills are being cultivated.
To help businesses in their quest to train the leaders of tomorrow, we’ve rounded up the top 4 ways to implement an effective millennial leadership training program, from prioritizing mentorship to providing microlearning opportunities.
1. Prioritize Mentorship
Mentorship is key to improving your millennial leadership training program, and a great way to engage your younger workforce, too. Millennials who intend to stay with their organizations for more than five years are two times as likely to have mentors (68%) than not (32%).
So what’s important to consider when your business develops its mentorship program? When Deloitte questioned millennials about their mentors, 94% described the quality of advice given, while 91% described the level of interest shown in their development. Clearly, millennials are looking for experienced professionals who are genuinely interested in their development.
Ensure your business’s mentors know that they need to develop a close, authentic, and professional relationship with their mentees. When setting up your mentorship program, the most important thing is to ensure that all interested millennials are properly matched with their mentors. Approximately 83% of millennials who have mentors are satisfied with that aspect of their working lives.
Training mentors on best practices is critical for a successful mentorship program. One way to train mentors in a way that is readily absorbed by millennials is through microlearning as well; training in the same method that their mentees will experience benefits all parties. A microlearning program can teach mentors how to engage and interact with millennials in a way that pushes the boundaries of their own professional development. In the past this might have been more challenging for geographically dispersed teams. However, with today’s team communication and collaboration tools, it’s very easy to connect mentors with millennials across distances and time zones.
2. Make Learning Flexible and On-Demand
Millennials are advocates for flexible schedules and working situations: 77% of millennials believe that a flexible schedule would make them more productive. This points to a bigger trend: millennials like to personalize their work-related activities. Why not let them personalize their millennial leadership training experience, too?
Today, a mere 24% of millennials are “very satisfied” with the developmental opportunities that their companies provide. If millennials are given more leeway or ability to design their own education programs, they might be more satisfied. For example, your business could:
- Provide a budget for leadership-related events that team members can apply for
- Offer multiple subscriptions to learning software for users to choose from
- Ensure that users have opportunities to participate in both at-work or at-home learning services
This level of flexibility in your business’s millennial leadership training program will empower users to choose the learning path that works best for them—and stick to it.
One of the best ways to create flexible and on-demand learning is with a microlearning program. At Concannon, we’ve created MercuryHub. It’s a full-service solution combining a microlearning software platform with engaging coursework and messaging content that provides all the core functionality you need to get a complete micromessaging program up and running quickly.
3. Offer Ample Feedback
Only 19% of millennials say they receive routine feedback, and only 17% say that feedback is meaningful. But according to Harvard Business Review, over half of millennials want feedback at least once a month.
Businesses that don’t provide feedback to their millennial workforce are missing out on a lot of opportunities. Feedback is a great way to help professionals improve at their jobs, which ultimately helps the companies they work for grow their revenues. According to Gallup, managers who receive feedback on their strengths show 8.9% greater profitability.
To ensure you’re meeting millennials’ needs and helping them improve, encourage managers to offer feedback on a regular schedule, perhaps on a monthly or even weekly schedule as opposed to quarterly.
4. Provide Training in Bite-sized Pieces
Today, the average attention span is 8 seconds. This short attention span has affected every part of the working world, but especially corporate education; businesses are struggling to figure out how to get their users to absorb information more effectively.
Microlearning, which features learning segments that are less than three minutes in length, can be the perfect answer to this problem. A well-developed microlearning program would include multiple segments building on each other and repeating important info to commit it to user memory.
When developing your microlearning program, ensure you first tailor it to suit your users. A startup with a distributed workforce in their 20s will disseminate learning information differently from an enterprise with a workforce of people in their 30s. Regardless of your business’s demographics, a strong leadership microlearning program will include:
- Short learning videos or handouts
- Defined milestones to allow for breaks and encouragement
- Gamification aspects, like content quizzes
By making millennial leadership training more accessible, you’ll provide the leaders of tomorrow with a top-notch, educated foundation.
Following each of these 4 tips for effective millennial leadership training is an excellent start to cultivating tomorrow’s business leaders. Looking for more training tips? Download the playbook, “Creating Connected Team Knowledge That Drives Engagement.”