5 Reasons To Onboard Millennials Online
Why Online Onboarding is the Better Way For Millennials
What type of employees are you hiring? What generation are they in? As the millennial generation (also commonly known as Gen-Y and includes births from 1982 – 2000) grows in the workforce and baby boomers retire, managers and human resources professionals need to think about the generational differences between baby boomers and millennials. With millennials projected to reach 50% of the global workforce by 2020, their unique orientation and onboarding needs can’t be ignored.
Your new boomer employees are quite used to showing up for a new job and expecting to sit in a classroom to learn about your company. Millennials – not so much! Instead, they value being given the freedom to explore the resources themselves. They want and value online information discovery checklists to complete as well as an assigned mentor (orientation buddy) to come along side to guide. They highly value a team-oriented culture driven by social media.
Have you also noticed that the number of remote and part-time workers in your organization is more than likely increasing? The modern day workforce is in flux. Employees don’t stay in a job or a career for more than 3 or 5 years. This is especially true of millennials.
So, having an online orientation and onboarding process is the better way for millennials to gain what they need during the initial months on the job.
Here are 5 reasons why online orientation and onboarding is better than classroom-based for your new hire millennials:
Reason #1: Online orientation gives new hire millennials control over their own learning in a self-serve, technology-based environment
New hires, especially millennials, appreciate a well-organized and easily accessible online orientation and onboarding process. They love being able to find online what they need when they need it. Being told they need to wait a week or more until the next in-person orientation session is torture. They don’t like to wait for any information. They live and breathe an instant access-it-now mentality.
Reason #2. Online orientation gives new hire millennials an easy-to-follow learning path during the critical first months on the job
There’s a lot to learn during the first weeks and months on the job. However, new hire millennials are often surprised and dismayed when they don’t feel competent right away. They don’t realize that it takes at least six months to tackle the learning curve and learn what they need to learn.
By giving them an online orientation and onboarding learning path they gain a more realistic picture of what needs to be learned and how to get there. Achieving the learning milestones gives them a sense of success and job competence.
Reason #3: Online orientation supports new hire millennials’ knowledge and skills acquisition
New hire millennials want the opportunity to learn and apply their skills right away. They don’t like to feel underused and undervalued. So, giving them meaningless tasks to complete while waiting for an official in-person orientation workshop to happen is frustrating for them. Dropping a new hire into a job without a clear career structure is likely to create a disengaged employee. They need to see that they are building portable knowledge and skills. An online orientation learning process does just that.
Reason #4: Online orientation supports new hire millennials’ need for mentorship
New hire millennials want to learn from someone with expertise. It’s important to pair them with someone else who has lots of valuable experience. Ask them to work together on a new online project or assignment that excites them, and is of strategic importance. This not only makes them feel valued by you and your organization, it gives them the opportunity to learn directly from a mentor. It also builds on the assumption that the new hire millennials have something to teach their more senior colleagues.
Reason #5: Online orientation that includes social media is highly valued by new hire millennials
Millennials want and need to connect with others. Their daily lives away from work revolve around their online social networking activities. So, the more you provide networking value within a business context, the better it will be for them. An orientation technology platform that includes ways for millennials to connect informally through online social media functionality will make them more productive.
Online Orientation Software
Software already exists to easily and effectively customize your organization’s orientation and onboarding process. So, what are you waiting for? Your new hire millennials are very valuable human assets. It’s time to impress them with a fully customized online orientation and onboarding process that really meets their needs.
Valerie Dixon, M.Ed., CTDP, President of Learnware Design Inc., is a leading expert in the field of Talent Development. Valerie has over 40 years of experience in all aspects of performance needs analysis, learning strategy development and learning design for all types of media, in both the private and public sectors.
Discover more at www.learnwaredesign.com
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of The HR Gazette or its team members.