“I will learn on my own”

“Don’t teach me,”

“ Oh, the boring training again.”

These are some reactions I keep getting almost every day when I talk about training to my 22-year old niece. You might be hearing it a hundred times every day. I can understand.

Why do they hate training so much? I kept wondering until I tricked her into telling me what she likes. The top one is at the end. 

Bit sized and always accessible

“I will learn when I need something” is the millennial attitude. Millennials follow an “on-demand” learning mode. They will open up Google and search for the answer or reach out to a mentor when they are stuck with some code. Try and get them into a classroom to teach the same… naah. Keep your training modules bit sized and always accessible. They will, a 100%, go through that. Not when you say it, but when they need it.

Experiential

Theory and millennial are opposites. So, try and avoid theory as much as possible. It’s tempting to talk theory and give speeches, but you might lose the audience. Forever. If I may add. Make the learning process as experiential as possible. E.g., if you are training them on project management, don’t tell them what project management is. Ask them to build a jeep in 60 minutes and manage the resources what they have. In fact, this is the kind of training that they’d love to repeat a dozen times and still not get bored.

Challenge (Gamify)

One thing, surprisingly, most millennials will fall for is a challenge. Once you gamify the program and challenge them, it will be difficult for you to pull them back from the training program. E.g., Ask them to make an IOT based sensor that will water the plants as soon as the soil dries up. They will collaborate, learn by themselves and do it. I genuinely believe that a challenge brings out the best learner in all of us.

Real-world and relevant

“So what?” is the most often used phrase by a millennial after may be “Bro.” The challenge should be relevant and must have a real-world application. You can either ask for an IoT solution which is very relevant or ask them to build prime numbers between 1 to 100. The former, they will be immersed and do it. I don’t need to tell about the latter. 

Simulation

This is a combination of all the above and the favorite for the millennials. We’ve conducted over 100 simulations for over a lakh millennials, and I am yet to see a tired face. The best part of the simulation is that it engages all of their multiple intelligences and makes the experience immersive. There is no teaching environment, but an immersive environment of collaboration and learning.

There are multiple other reasons, but I find these click faster with the millennials. I am happy to hear your thoughts and experiences.