Training is a hot topic these days. There are the popular discussions about sensitivity training spurred on by racial bias shown at Starbucks in April 2018. The discussion, and training, is important with those who work face-to-face or interact with customers. And it is important for all of us as human beings.
When doing any type of training, however, there is also a need for awareness of how each generation responds to methods of training.
Those of you who are regular readers of my blog know that members of the Millennial Generation (Generation Y) prefer to work for companies who provide workplace training for their employees. As a matter of fact, many times, they will choose training as a benefit over cash bonuses.
But today’s organization is complex. We employ people from five different generations who all want their training delivered in the way which best meets their needs.
The top question we get from many of the companies for whom we design training programs is, “How do I make training have meaning for everyone?”
When Market Viewpoint is hired by one of our client organizations to coach and train on topics such as customer retention, customer service, and professional development, I always ask about the generational mix of the attendees. We make certain that we include modules designed to reach those we are trying to teach.
It’s best to have a variety of audio, visual, and interactive activities in any training program. Below I identify what I have found to work best for different generations.
Tips on Workplace Training for Each Generation
- Members of the World War II Generation, or Traditionalists, are coming out of retirement to earn extra cash to supplement their retirement incomes. Keep your training approach focused for this group. And don’t forget to allow time for them to share their expertise.
- Baby Boomers like printed material but adapt well and quickly to interfacing with technology when called upon to do so. Allow time for storytelling and use this group for on-going mentoring.
- Generation X values interaction when it comes to training but remember that this is a resourceful group so give them self-paced modules and be sure that your training approach is logical and practical.
- I like to think of the Millennials as multi-media learners so when I design for them I include on-line accessibility to training materials, provide game modules to help them connect to and remember the material that is being taught, and provide them with social access to peer groups to gather additional data and reactions to the training topics.
- Generation Z – This group, born after 1996, is starting to enter the workforce in greater numbers. They are not Millennials and have a different approach to work. This generation ONLY knows a digital world. They connect with others on a global scale. And consume large amounts of information in short spurts. They have no trouble questioning – and checking – facts and authenticity.
Each generation brings value to your workspace. None should be ignored – and all should be encouraged to learn from the other.
Take a blended approach when designing your training and professional development programs. You will ensure you are reaching all those in your workforce to ensure their support of your mission and goals.
What kinds of training tools do you have in place in your organization to reach the various generations working for you?
If you liked this article and want more information about training your staff for customer service excellence, join the Market Viewpoint community by clicking here.
Angela can show you how training can help your staff succeed! Contact her today to schedule a free consultation.