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Training Millennial Employees is Easier Than You Think

Training millennial employees effectively leads to a happier, higher-performing workforce

It isn’t newsworthy that company demographics are getting younger, or that by 2025, 75% of the entire workforce will be made up of millennials. But even as millennial workers take up more seats in the conference room, not all companies are being mindful of the fact that this is a group that learns differently - and the consequences of ineffectively training millennial employees might be greater than you realize.

Millennials actually make ideal employees

Let’s talk about millennials for a moment. Skipping past stereotypes that have been beaten into the ground, this generation is actually made up of ideal employees. Recent studies show that millennials typically work more than 45 hours per week, are more likely to work past age 65, and are less likely to use all of their paid time off. And since they tend to take on work that is more meaningful to them, it’s not uncommon for them to be “on” and responding to emails well after 5pm.

Millennials are also more fast-moving and tech-savvy than their older colleagues, having grown up surrounded by technology (thus earning them the nickname of ‘digital natives’). They value instantaneous communication, thanks to texting and apps like Snapchat. They have an average attention span of 12 seconds. And they place a high importance on working for companies who value modern technology as much as they do; in fact, 93% of millennials say that having up-to-date technology is an important factor when choosing a job.

The training and development they actually want

Tons of companies have already made major shifts (or were built) to attract the growing millennial workforce, adhering to progressive business practices like open-concept workspaces, the “pick your own hours as long as the job gets done” mentality, and a laid back workplace culture. But in order to retain talent, businesses also need to take a more modernized approach to things like training and development.

Nailing down your company training program is no small thing; a whopping 62% of new hires are more likely to stay at a company when proper training is provided. Millennial employees want companies that will offer ongoing training, but having grown up around video, they take in and process information differently. In fact, they are 2.7x more likely to watch a YouTube video than read a book when learning something new.

Needless to say, incorporating modernized video learning into your training program is going to help your younger employees learn better, and get them to stick around.

Training millennial employees with video

Using video training to educate your employees - whether it’s a video seminar, training content that can be cut up into more manageable clips, etc. - is a no-brainer method when it comes to making a lasting impact. But to make sure your training is as effective as possible for your millennial workers, here are some tips:
1. Make it ongoing
Studies show that traditional onboarding (in which new hires are given a large amount of information over a short period of time) only leads to a retention rate of about 10%. Without continual, compounded learning, your employees aren’t going to remember the information they need in order to succeed. Just as importantly, millennials feel valued by companies that invest in their career growth and development. Live and on-demand video makes this achievable for businesses; not only is it simpler than ever to create new video content on the fly, but video can actually increase the retention rate to 65%.
2. Make it digestible
Simply using video to train millennials isn’t going to cut it. Attention spans are getting shorter with each generation (millennial attention spans average at 12 seconds, and gen Z-ers are even clocking in at 8 seconds), and this is a group that loves GIFs, 10-second snaps, and Instagram videos that don’t exceed 60 seconds. While it’s unrealistic to create a series of minute-long training videos, it’s not a bad idea to break an hour-long training session into shorter, more digestible snippets. Not only is it easier for your employees to process information this way, but it’s also simpler to find and rewatch specific information later.
3. Make it accessible
Having grown up with the internet, millennials are used to accessing information on a 24/7 basis, and on their own time. Whether your training videos are pre-recorded or were broadcast as live sessions, do your employees a favor by making all video content available on-demand. This will provide them with the ease of access that they’re accustomed to, plus it will empower them to refresh their own learning and training as often as they need. And don’t worry about it getting in the way of their work - millennials can actually balance 3 screens at once.
4. Make it mobile
According to research by Cisco, smartphones rival laptops as the preferred device for millennials. Right now, only 10% of companies are using mobile learning, but 99% of those using mobile training say that it enhances the experience. Consider selecting a video learning platform that is mobile-friendly, to give your employees a choice as to how they access your training material.
5. Make it measurable
This one isn’t millennial-specific, but one of the benefits of video training is that you can easily measure its performance. Integrated video platforms like Brandlive allow you to see which employees have participated in training sessions (including features like quizzes and chat), and then compare the business outcomes to those that resulted from prior training efforts. Once you find what’s working and what isn’t, you can adjust the content to make your training program as high-performing as possible.


Most companies invest heavily in employee training. Make sure yours is doing so effectively by understanding the demographic breakdown of its workforce.

If you’re interested in improving your training outcomes with video, we're here to help. Contact Brandlive today to learn more about our Video Learning Platform!
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