Friday, February 29, 2008

Why ask Y?

Does banging your head against a large, metal filing cabinet sound better than having to train the new college grad in the office?

Does it make you want to tear your hair out when the same college grad thinks he or she is always right?

Does making a trip to the DMV, Post Office and dentist for a root canal (all in the same day) sound like fun compared to giving this spoiled brat a tour around the office?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may be drinking a bottle of top shelf Generation Y Haterade. But don’t worry, take those hater-shades off, there’s a solution.

Companies across the country are finding new and strategic ways to train the latest arrivals to the workforce. Unlike past groups, Generation Y learns in their own special way.

Generation Y – those born generally between 1980 and 1995; also known as Millennials or Internet Generation (iGen); comfortable with instant messaging as their main form of communication; can completely hold a conversation in text shorthand such as LOL, ROTFL, BRB, IDK, TTYL, etc.; and feel a greater sense of entitlement in terms of compensation, benefits and career advancements than older generations.

Many big name companies are molding their training programs to fit the unique needs of the Gen Yers. An article I read on explains how the shipping giant UPS has reformed its training program specifically for this new working generation.

After studying and testing their current training methods, UPS found the most effective training method was hands-on learning. GenY doesn’t retain what’s taught in a boring lecture. They need demonstrations, simulations, to be taught by doing.

The company went so far as to create a mini town, full of streets, stop signs, fake stores and homes, UPS dropboxes and loading docks, where trainees put everything they learn into practice. The town was designed to give new employees real world training without putting anyone in danger. Imagine the first time you have to deliver a package in the middle of a jam-packed downtown at 5 o’clock. That training facility sounds like a really great idea, right?

How does your company mold it’s training to deal with Generation Y?

Are you a member of Generation Y? Share training methods that have worked for you.

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