For many trainers, 18 – 26 yr olds can be a tough group to engage and motivate. Described by sociologists as the GenerationY (because they follow Generation-X), many prefer the term “millenials” to recognise that their worldview/outlook was shaped as we moved from the 20th to the 21st century.
As a group, they can be hard to read and tough to motivate, especially for those of us who are a bit older and have different values, drivers and world view.
The Glass Hammer blog has a really interesting post giving 10 Tips for Managing Gen Y.
Although slanted towards managing rather than training, I think many of the tips stand up in the training room too. My top 3 are:
- 1. Be their mentor
Millennials prefer to self manage and they expect managers to play the role of mentor. Companies should provide structured autonomy for their Gen Y staff, where supervisors and managers serve as coaches and mentors to constantly nurture the need for learning and growth,” says Michelle Brailsford, President of the European Professional Women’s Network of London.
- 4. Provide challenges
The expectations of what a job is have changed significantly, and they are not content to turn up, work 8 hours and go home. Check that the Gen Ys in your department are significantly challenged – some would uncharitably say that’s due to shorter attention spans – and if they aren’t, find something that will challenge them.
- 5. Make work fun
Gen Y does not only want to enjoy their work, they expect to enjoy their work. Again, this is about different perceptions of what work means: spending more time with colleagues than with family and friends means that work people become friends. The environment at the office is crucially important to this generation, so make it welcoming and fun.
What ones do you like?
image used with permission: dalechumbley