There are two important statistics that modern trainers ignore at their peril.
1) Millennials are now the biggest generational group in the workplace, and will most likely make up half of the typical corporate classroom by 2025.
2) And secondly, millennials have very short attention spans vs their predecessors, switching media types 27 times every non-working hour.
This means that traditional-1 day classroom, block style training is outdated and will even seem long-winded to the majority of your learners and will decimate learner engagement levels.
So, how can the modern trainer reach this group of easily distracted and inattentive millennials learners?
Smart-phone bans, perhaps?
This will just fix the symptom and not the problem.
You learners will remain disengaged with what they see as a long-winded style of learning delivery.
Rather than trying to wrestle with short attention spans, embrace them.
Take a lesson from the advertising sector: when they realised that millennials attention spans for ads was 6 seconds, they produced 6 second ads to capture attention.
Of course, we are not suggesting 6 second training sessions as that would be impractical.
But, moving away from lengthy, block training sessions to a more episodic, microlearning format is the answer.
For example, consider your first-time millennial, attention-challenged line manager who’ll be potentially wasted on a 2 day attention-heavy foundation management course.
The theory suggests they will be far more engaged by having access to a microlearning library of bite-size and topical management training modules, (of minutes rather than hours in length), which they can access on demand via their learning management system when the need arises.
As management pressures and issues present themselves to the millennial manager they can grab and consume highly topical elearning content in minutes.
If there is conflict in their team that needs urgent fixes, microlearners can quickly access bite-size and conflict resolution based elearning content that can be applied in the now.
This will create an immediacy and relevancy to this bite-size elearning content will make it extremely attractive and engaging to the millennial learner.
In truth microlearning libraries will be a highly effective learning companion for students irrespective of their generation.
We’ve got plenty of microlearning examples on our hub page.
Sean is the CEO of Skillshub. He’s a published author and has been featured on CNN, BBC and ITV as a leading authority in the learning and development industry. Sean is responsible for the vision and strategy at Skillshub, helping to ensure innovation within the company.