How to engage Generation Y in your learning?

Learning for generation YSlowly but surely generation Y is taking over the workforce. They are the fastest growing demographic in the market. By 2025, they will comprise 75% of the workforce. The experienced Baby Boomers will retire over time. With more Millennials coming into the business, learning and development programs need to be reshaped to engage with them. We collected five things that you should keep in mind when developing programs for generation Y.

Talk about things that they can recognise
The main thing that differentiates this generation from generation X or the Baby Boomers is that they grew up with the computer. Most of them are very ‘tech savvy’ and had an email address before they had their first pimple. They communicate in tweets, likes, selfies and for all they care, the fax and dodo could have existed in the same era. Keep the content of your learning up-to-date

Let them speak
Generation Y is trained to be involved and contribute. In kindergarten they were asked to think about their drawings and tell the teacher why they think it’s beautiful and all throughout their school career, classes were structured to provoke discussion and make them capable of shaping their own opinion. That’s why this generation likes to be involved. Make the learning ‘pull’, let them discover it, play around with it, test it and trail it. Create the learning around them.

Keep up the tempo
Here’s what happens in one second on social media: 2,200 tweets are posted, 580 people update their Facebook status and 24 minutes of video is uploaded to YouTube. If you consider that one out of four members of generation Y access social media more than once a day, you can imagine that this generation is used to a certain speed. They like things to be fast and efficient, so create a program that keeps up the tempo and is snappy.

Make it flexible
Growing up in a time where the world became more accessible, the Millennials are used to going wherever, whenever. Combine this with the freedom that the computer brought and you can imagine that this generation needs flexibility. If you’re working on an ongoing program within the company, you might want to go online.

Make them score
Generation Y had to be very competitive: they had to compete for entrances in schools, master programs and now the job market. Their parents, Baby Boomers, recognised this competition and have always encouraged them. That is why this generation likes to work towards a certain goal and get recognised for it. There are many way to integrate this in your learning, for example, by integrating an element that needs problem solving skills combined with recognition.