Who are ‘millennials’? Also known as Me Generation, Generation Y and Digital Kids, millennials are the young people belonging to the internet era. A generic millennial’s personality profile will include such traits as illusive laziness, high self-awareness, little to no respect for authority, erratic behavior, introvert proneness, social and political awareness, clear sense of justice and generally high intellect.
However, modern education seems to no longer be capable of catering for the needs of millennials. Old-school methods don’t work for the Digital Kids, with many simply dropping off college, even when there’s only a year left to graduate. For a millennial a year is enough time to conquer the world. That’s why, if schools, colleges and universities really want to keep the best students on campus, a particular new approach should be chosen.
Engagement is the key
Millennials are considered lazy but that’s not always the case. When a Gen Y kid doesn’t do a particular task or job, that’s because he/she doesn’t think it’s necessary and engages with a hobby instead. A millennial will either seek to do what’s interesting or do nothing at all. That’s why finding ways to engage such students into the learning process is of paramount importance. Here are some of the best practices to rely on.
- Make sure a hands-on methodology is present and access to internet is readily available;
- Mentoring is the best way to engage millennials, have them mentored by a guest speaker, instructor or field pundit; also let millennials mentor each other;
- Give a millennial some freedom and space to master subject aspects individually using the web or help from peers;
- Treat millennials as equals, condescending attitude will burn bridges for good;
- Offer as few theories as possible, millennials do better when having to solve problems in the field;
- If possible, use social media, apps, blogs and gamification to keep interest levels high;
- Offer tasks and assignments that can be implemented in real life;
- Millennials like to feel good about themselves, so be lavish with praise, but only if it’s well-deserved;
- Use humor, millennials like a good laugh;
- Don’t think you know more than them, because at the end of the day you don’t.
How millennials work
Millennials can be the most hard-working persons in the team, but only when motivated and engaged in the process. Digital Kids don’t like playing career games, millennial’s place in the company’s corporate structure is usually deserved by titanic work, skills and incentives. However, if a project isn’t interesting, millennials will quit without a moment’s hesitation. Working on another project, for another boss, in another part of the world, becoming a freelancer or switching professional field, you name it.
All in all, millennials are the relentless force of modern-day world. But this force is ferocious in incapable hands and needs some serious taming. Motivation by money alone isn’t working for them, as it worked for the Baby Boom generation. Millennials are usually paid the most in a company, and other sources of motivation should be researched. Otherwise such a brilliant and agile mind will be taken by another company.