How to Train and Manage iGen Millennial Employees
Congratulations! Your company just became the coolest place to work. You have an open work space, employees playing ping pong, and really great coffee. You’ve hired from iGen, and your team is flush with enthusiasm, tight pants, and cloud computing. However, this particular group has specific goals and desires that differ from previous generations, and understanding their unique aspirations, especially your ability to help them thrive, will be a crucial component in their contributions to your company.
How do you manage millennials?
If you’ve never heard of iGen before, that’s ok. They’re new. According to The Center for Generational Kinetics, “we call the generation after Millenials ‘Gen Z’ or ‘iGen'”. To put that into years, iGen are born between 1996 and today, and those at the front end of that scale are beginning to enter the workforce. As expected, this new generation has its own unique qualities and characteristics that should impact the ways we strive to help these employees thrive. Notably, as Fortune identifies, “To attract the right talent, organizations will have to show how they can help their employees reach their most important career goals.” To do so, companies will have to train and collaborate with iGen to instill best practices and priorities.
Here are some surprising things you must know about iGen to help them thrive within your company.
- They want to be trained.
This generation of employee shares the rare combination of hubris and humility. While they believe they are the best-educated people in the room, they also want to learn and receive training. As the writers at Pro Sky have noted, “training must have evolved in some way because most generation Z will admit that training is essential to them at any organization”. Use their value in education to your advantage and train them well.
- Training should be collaborative.
Corporate training often follows the unfortunate educational descriptor of “sage on the stage” in which a trainer presents information to an audience with the expectation that they will be able to know and apply that information when the presentation is complete. Frontiers recently identified that PowerPoint and other slide-based teaching methods are grossly ineffective and psychologically flawed, and iGen seem to know this intrinsically. Capterra, a company specializing in e-learning, notes that “[iGen] is more likely to want their managers to listen to them and value their ideas” and, contrary to their name, they prefer personal interaction rather than electronic communication.” Implementing opportunities for job shadowing, mentorships, and collaborative trainings can be effective ways to convey skills and priorities to this group of employees.
- Maximize technology integration.
While iGen values face time with their managers and views collaboration as the way forward, that does not eradicate the value of technology as an educational medium. As TCC Innovations reminds us, “[iGen] probably doesn’t even remember a time before smartphones and tables existed.” Using communicative technology to streamline meetings, translating training into an engaging video, and providing a hub of digital resources are good ways for companies to begin catering to the educational needs and wants of their newest employees.
Training Journal offers some of the best advice for preparing for the emerging workforce of iGen – prepare for it.
IGen want to learn and we need them to thrive. Developing best practices to help train this generation will be a crucial step toward helping everyone progress together. Intentionality becoming active now can help produce a workforce later that is more productive and more capable than their nomenclature might indicate.