How to Successfully Train All Generations in the Workforce Today
There are at least four generations in the workforce today. Can you get them in the same room and train them at the same time? Sure you can. How? You’ll find our answer at the end of this blog.
Should We Put Generations in the Same Training Box?
When I was a teacher, I’d sometimes find myself in the teachers’ lounge, listening to other teachers complain about how tablets were going to “hurt” students’ learning styles. I tried to defend tech back then, but there was no moving them from what they knew.
Now, we’re heading fast and steady into eLearning. Honestly, we could’ve taken a lesson from the 8th graders on how to incorporate tech into education.
The Four Generations in the Workforce Today
|Generation||Assumption on How They Learn|
|Gen Z||Blended classroom/micro learning/gamification|
|Gen Y (Millennials)||Blended classroom/eLearning/gamification|
|Gen X||Traditional classroom plus tech|
|Baby Boomers||Traditional classroom plus pen and paper|
Even if these are assumptions, we arrived at them because:
|Generation||Assumption on Why They Learn How They Learn|
|Gen Z||May need micro learning because they’re used to shorter videos and memes|
|Gen Y||Grew up in tech and had already been used to computer learning|
|Gen X||Remembers learning about and using computers in school, starting with the monitor, keyboard and CPU|
|Baby Boomers||Learned with pen, paper, and paperback books|
Knowing we all have different learning styles, the question is:
Can We Be Open to the New and Incorporate the Lessons from our Elders?
Each generation brings something to life when it comes to learning. But, if we get stuck in our way, we’re aging the workforce whether we’re 25 or 65 years old. It is imperative that we listen and collaborate with each other so that we can incorporate the important aspects of learning from generation to generation.
What’s the First Step?
Outside of creating polls and seeking answers from each generation, let’s start easy:
How Do We Train All Generations in the Workforce at the Same Time?
There’s something all these generations have in common. The instruments by which we learn evolved over the years because of human and tech progress. But the topics haven’t really changed. Sure, in history we’ve been able to disambiguate certain facts and tech improves all the time, but the topics are still topics.
So, if you have to teach a Gen Zer and a Boomer about the Battle of Hastings in the same room, at the same time, how would you do it? Would you assume the Boomer would be more interested?
I can guarantee most of us would assume Boomers would be super into it and that Zs would snooze through it. But we’re wrong. It has to do with how we teach it.
Are We Suggesting Creating Learning for Each of the Generations?
Yes and no.
Yes, if you have the time and budget to make Battle of Hastings memes for Zs, modules for Ys, workbooks and tech for Xs, and booklets and books for Boomers. If you don’t have time for that:
Rely on Learner Engagement
Let’s remember that outside of being put in a learning box, we’re all still human. Humans like stories. Humans ache to be engaged and to be a part of something. This is where we start. The desire to be engaged in what we’re doing is somewhere we can all connect.
So don’t be so quick to assume that everyone in each generation learns the exact, same way. Yes, let’s use the generational learning styles as information, but let’s not stick each generation in their specific box. Allow learner engagement to be your driving force and use styles as valuable secondary information.
But How Do You Engage Everyone?!
If you have an intergenerational audience, create learning that you know will speak to each one of your generations. Think outside the box, and engage them in your topic as much as possible.
Whether it’s the Battle of Hastings or How to Make a Burrito, chances are, you’ll have a few different generational partners in your audience. Think outside of the training box to create engagement.
Lastly but most importantly, by being present with them and being open to feedback, they’ll give you your biggest clue as to how to make the course engaging for them in the future.
Who Are We?
We are Miranda Park Learning, your instructional design services experts. To create intergenerational learner engagement, contact Cassy Huidobro at 720-722-9998 or via email at [email protected]. We’ll help you create intergenerational training that works for your team.
Picture: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
This blog was written by Cassy Huidobro from Miranda Park Learning and has been verified unique by Copyscape